Veteran shares his poetry from WWII

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Veteran shares his poetry from WWII

by: Joseph Errico | .
Stripes Okinawa | .
published: June 19, 2014

Editor’s Note: World War II veteran Joseph Errico recently reached out to Stripes because he had some poems he wanted to share with our readers. Two of them are from 1944 and the third is one he wrote in 2011. Joseph comes from a strong military family, and his brothers, Michael and Anthony, also served in WWII. In fact, Anthony fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Joseph, who turn 90 in July and served in the Army Air Corps, wrote two poems during the war. The poems were for “my first crush,” Joseph said in an email. Joseph, we thank you for sharing your writings with us.

G I Wish I Could Kiss You

Sitting on my bed
My GI hat upon my head
My GI pants, my GI shoes
Everything free, nothing to lose
My GI razor, GI comb
But G I wish I was home
They issue everything we need
Paper to write books, to read
They issue food to make us grow
But G I want a long furlough
Your belt, your shoes, your GI tie
Everything free nothing to buy
You eat your meals from a GI plate
Buy your needs at a GI rate
It’s GI this and GI that
GI haircut and GI hat
Everything government issue
But G I wish I could kiss you!

JHE
Feb. 23, 1944 

A Soldier’s Prayer to his Love

Through clouds of toil and longing space
I hear your voice and see your face
At the end of each long day
I see you kneel and hear you pray
Oh God above let him go unharmed
Keep him safe and keep him armed
Watch over him as he seeks his rivals
Protect him in his daily travels and trials
Dearest one I hear your prayer
Oh indeed I’d rather be there
But it is His wish that here I stay
I’m sure when I say He is listening to me pray
Oh Lord above look down upon the one I love
Tell her not to worry and have no fear
For even though I may be far away
Through my prayers I am near

JHE
March 7, 1944

BEFORE THEY SAY “GOOD-BYE”

We didn’t start it, we didn’t want it, but we helped the
English and freed the French anew
Tho they forced it on us, we flew the highest, fought
With valor and all our might
We were soldiers, sailors and marines
Both men and women tight.

We took on the enemies with fervor
Wherever they might be
There were many memories, some happy
But most sad alright

There were many brave hero’s
Made in distant lands
There were those chosen not to leave our shores
No less having served in certainty

Today many World War II veterans are dying
About 600 every day
On this Veteran’s Day say Hello before they say Good-Bye
We didn’t start it, we didn’t want it
But we ended it with victory.

JHE Sept. 2011