For Barney Haines
by Terry Lockridge
He was a PFC at his first duty station
Soon to be sent to Viet Nam.
She has always lived in Annapolis
Next door to the Naval Academy
And had heard it all before
They became good friends and
They would take walks through town
Buy ice cream and sit at the dock and talk
“What am I going to do when you leave,” she teased him. “Don’t worry I’ll find someone for you,” he told her.
The Corporal had spent his time overseas,
And was finishing up his tour, waiting for the Silver Bird.
The PFC had just made L/Cpl and was with the 26th Marines, Completing his training and waiting to go to Viet Nam.
They met on Okinawa. Corporals don’t have much in common With L/Cpl’s that haven’t been there yet, until.
They found out that they were both from Pennsylvania.
The Corporal from Brownsville, the L/Cpl from Stoystown . They talked about home, the Corporal anxious to see it.
The L/Cpl knowing it would be awhile before he would see it again. They parted company, each heading for the unknown.
She had seen him on TV on the Six o Clock News.
He was at a White Church near the DMZ,she wrote him.
And he wrote her back, he was now a Corporal squad leader With 2nd Platoon, Bravo Co, 1st Battalion ,Ninth Marines. They were known as the Battlin Bastards of Bravo.
They were undermanned, and short of supplies
But had a great Plt Sgt in S/Sgt Burns
And just got a new Captain,
Who was also from Pennsylvania
And a Naval Academy graduate
They would be moving out shortly on a new operation; Operation Buffalo.
And he still hadn’t found someone for her.
The first Corporal arrived back in the States,
And reported in to his new duty station.
Stateside duty wasn’t all it was made out to be.
Standing guard duty, Ceremonial Parades, Instructing Midshipmen, But being NCO of the Burial duty was the worst.
He felt for all those fine young Marines
And the families that were left behind to grieve.
The Fourth of July parade was the last straw.
He had made up his mind to see the First Sergeant in the morning. He felt he should be back there
after all he really didn’t have someone.
His roommate had just come back from a phone call. Would the Corporal go into town with him?
A friend had just called and it sounded like the news wasn’t good. She met them at the door,come in and sit down she said.
I’m afraid I have bad news.
Barney was killed last week, she told them.
She had been visiting friends in Pennsylvania
It was in a local newspaper
He had been buried the week before
She handed them a clipping from the Stoystown paper. What can you say that hadn’t been said?
What can you do that hadn’t been done?
He took her for ice cream.
They would walk through town and sit by the dock and talk. They just celebrated their 30th Wedding Anniversary.
He had found her someone,
And they both still miss him
Ó Terry Lockridge
Terry Lockridge served in the USMC from 1965-69
and from 66-67 with 3rd FSR, where he met Robert Haines.
He lives in Stevensville, Maryland after retiring after 43 years in the Electrical Industry. He has been married 47 years.