The Man with the Rifle Knows

Men may argue forever on what wins their wars,

And welter in cons and pros,

And seek for their answer at history’s doors,

But the man with the rifle knows.


He must stand on the ground on his own two feet,

And he’s never in doubt when it’s won,

If it’s won he’s there; if not, it’s defeat.

That’s his test, when the fighting is done.


When he carries the fight, it’s not with a roar

Of armored wings spitting death,

It’s creep and crawl in the earthen floor,

Butt down and holding his breath.


Saving his strength for the low rush,

Grenade throw and bayonet thrust;

And the whispered prayer, before he goes in,

Of a man who does what he must.


And when he’s attacked, he can’t zoom away,

When the shells fill the world with their sound,

He stays where he is, loosens his spade,

And digs his defense in the ground.


That ground isn’t ours till he’s there in the flesh,

Not a gadget or bomb but a man.

He’s the answer to theories which start afresh,

With each peace since war began.

So let the circle of argument rage

On what wins, as war comes and goes.

Many new theories may hold the stage

But the man with the rifle knows.



This entry was posted in Co F (Ranger) 425th Infantry, LRRP Traditions. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Man with the Rifle Knows

  1. MICHAEL P RENEE says:

    I   HAVE   NOT   READ   MY   TEAM   BOOK   IN   ALONG   TIME.  THANKS  Sgt   Michael   P   Renee   6Th   ARMY   MTU    FT  ORD,   CALIF   1976- 1977

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