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For Every Raider I Ask

By Ann Renner
(Daughter of the late Russell H. Renner 2DG)

What were you thinking?

When you went into that recruiter’s office, the war was waging hot already.
You were young and should have been running with your friends down to the beach,
Chasing the girls, working on your car, drinking sodas and wolfing down Coney dogs.
Why did you go in to the Marine Corps office, knowing they were the first in on the islands.
What were you thinking?

Were you thinking of your grandparents, coming over to America?
Were you thinking of their work to raise a family on the old farm?
Were you thinking of their love of freedom and their hope for tomorrow?

When you finished boot camp you signed up for the Raiders, a dangerous thing to do.
You should have done your share of the duty and gotten out, gone back home.
You were a Marine, one of the best, the Raiders were the best of the best.
Why did you volunteer for that special combat unit that often operated behind the lines?
What were you thinking?

Were you thinking of your parents, how your dad fought in WWI?
Were you thinking of how he risked it all to keep your future free?
Were you thinking of their love for freedom and their hope for tomorrow?

The Raiders trained quickly, hard and thoroughly. You were totally focused.
You could have been carousing around and drinking, staying out and having fun.
You should have been home courting a girl of your own, learning how to love.
Why did you want to learn to survive on tropical islands and to kill with your bare hands?
What were you thinking?

Were you thinking of your future wife, how she was keeping the country going?
Were you thinking of her hopes to live a life as you two chose to live it?
Were you thinking of her love for freedom and her hope for tomorrow?

On those islands, behind the lines, your life on the line, daily you fought and won.
Battle by battle, but at such cost. Your friends, buddies, and brothers fell all around you.
But you still fought on, destroying communication, big guns, supply lines, and key positions
Why did you go back to get all those wounded boys, even when you were injured?
What were you thinking?

Were you thinking of your children, how they would grow up, happy and free?
Were you thinking of their chance to grow, to be educated, work and live free?
Were you thinking of their love for freedom and their living in tomorrow?

You came back, much older then the few years that had passed, your eyes aged from the scenes.
You could have relaxed and enjoyed the life to come in a nation free and started a family.
Instead of hearing your sweet children’s cries, you heard the cries of oppression from Korea.
Why did you signed back up, putting your life on hold to fight for another country’s freedom?
What were you thinking?

Were you thinking of your grandkids, how they would live in a global community?
Were you thinking of your grandson traveling overseas, visiting so many places?
Were you thinking of their need for freedom and their life in a better tomorrow?

Thank you father, for thinking of someone other then yourself, you helped
keep my freedoms, and those of your grandchildren, possible.

~ A Raider’s daughter.