POW Battle Inspiration

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Marine - God Bless America


We Tapped these Poems through the Prison Walls Letter by Letter and Memorized Them;


The Quitter

When you're lost in the wild, and you're scared as a child,

And death looks you bang in the eye.

And you're sore as a boil, it's according to Hoyle

To cock your revolver and ... Die.

But the code of a man says: "Fight all you can,"

And self-dissolution is barred.

In hunger and woe, oh, it's easy to blow ...

It's the hell-served-for-breakfast that's hard.


You're sick of the game! "Well, now, that's a shame."

You're young and you're brave and you're bright.

"You've had a raw deal," I know - but don't squeal.

Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.

It's the plugging away that will win you the day,

So don't be a piker, old pard!

Just draw on your grit; it's so easy to quit:

It's the keeping-your-chin-up that's hard.


It's easy to cry that you're beaten - and die.

It's easy to crawfish and crawl;

But to fight and to fight when hope's out of sight,

Why, that's the best game of them all!

And though you come out of each grueling bout

All broken and beaten and scarred,

Just have one more try - it's dead easy to die,

It's the keeping-on-living that's hard.

Robert Service



If you can keep your head when all about you
  Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
  But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
  Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
  And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
  If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
  And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
  Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
  And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
  And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
  And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
  To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
  Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
  Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
  If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
  With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
  And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son.

Rudyard Kipling

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made,
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson


BEHIND him lay the gray Azores,
  Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores,
  Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: “Now must we pray,         
  For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?”
  “Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’”
“My men grow mutinous day by day;
  My men grow ghastly wan and weak.”         
The stout mate thought of home; a spray
  Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
“What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
  If we sight naught but seas at dawn?”
“Why, you shall say at break of day,         
  ‘Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!’”
They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow,
  Until at last the blanched mate said:
“Why, now not even God would know
  Should I and all my men fall dead.         
These very winds forget their way,
  For God from these dread seas is gone.
Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say”—
  He said: “Sail on! sail on! and on!”
They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate:         
  “This mad sea shows his teeth to-night.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
  With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Admiral, say but one good word:
  What shall we do when hope is gone?”         
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
  “Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!”
Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck,
  And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck—         
  A light! A light! A light! A light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
  It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world
  Its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”
Joaquin Miller

“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”

Winston Churchill

"Return with Honor"

Colonel Robbie Risner, 1st Commander, all POWs, North Vietnam

Colonel John P. Flynn, 2nd Commander, all POWs, North Vietnam

4th Allied P.O.W. Wing, North Vietnam

Click here for My Name is America by Todd Allen Herendeen


Fort McHenry, Baltimore, 1814


Freedom is not free