Gale R. Ammerman

My Friend Bob

We enlisted together, Bob and me,
The big war, WWII you see.
Benjamin Harrison, they ordered us to,
Our goal, get in, see it through.

They herded us about like a Billy goat,
Examined privates, nose, ears,and throat.
You're in my lads, in for good,
Now serve your nation as you should.

Basic done, no room at Chanute,
But Bob spoke-up, "who gives a hoot?"
Chanute opened up, we're off, no panic,
Bob to welding school, me to mechanic.

Bob's desire to fly was strong,
Not to be denied for long.
He made it through cadets fine,
Was assigned the giant B-29.

They shot him down over Tokyo,
But he'd had a "crack" at old Tojo.
Bob bailed out in the war torn skies,
Thank God, it wasn't his day to die

He hit a roof, leg ripped badly
Limped and crawled to a Jap rice paddy
There he suffered to the fourth long day,
Gangrene in his leg said, "you can't stay".

Surrendered, Bob to the enemy there,
Far too sick to really care.
They beat him badly from the start,
But could never break his great heart.

For months he suffered, poorly tended,
But the war wound down and finally ended.
Bob got home, studied at Purdue,
Continued to serve his country true.

Fifty years after we said good-bye,
To our old school, Union High,
Back in Dugger for the meetings,
What great fun, old friends, the greetings.

Word came down, Bob's departed,
It left us truly brokenhearted.
Part of life was over now,
It'll never be the same, I allow.

When Bob Ring left Mother Earth,
It truly became a place much worse.
Our loss is surely heaven's gain,
But we'll join him sure as rain.

See you again, Bob, old shoe,
Keep her nose out of the blue,
Land her smooth on your own cloud.
To be your friend, God I'm so proud.

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 2, 2003

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