A CORPSMAN'S REFLECTION
A Tribute to Medal of Honor Recipient
Richard David DeWert
I woke up yesterday morning with a sweat-soaked shirt,
wondering what it would be like if I had been Richard DeWert.
A hardened smile that echoed tears of pain,
A mother's neglect at leaving her child in the rain.
He went willingly with visions of heroism and pride,
To become a Hospital Corpsman in our Nations' fight.
With hopes of the future, to be a doctor someday,
A harsh taste of combat and the dreams fade away.
It was early April with Dog 2/7,
No angels of mercy were looking down from heaven.
A bitter long trek to the 38th parallel,
When they took enemy fire and his Marines began to yell.
"Everybody down, were in for a fight",
the smell of fear and death took them in to the night.
On patrol the next morning as a thick fog rolled in,
The eerie silence of what was to begin.
Suddenly the fog lifted as quickly as it came,
The platoon's being cut down by bullets in vain.
Cries for "Doc" were all that he heard,
Marines gasping for air as they said their last word.
"Don't go out there Doc, wait until it's time",
a reply was met with, "You do your job, I'll do mine."
No time for thinking they're bleeding fast,
He pulled his first Marine to safety as he felt the first blast.
His leg burning, a sharp pain indeed,
Ignored for the comfort of his Marines in need.
Dodging through bullets, a daring second trip,
He carried the injured from the enemy's tight grip.
Undaunted by his own condition, his only thought of saving lives,
Dashing automatic fire for a third grueling time.
Another sharp blast of enemy fire,
Piercing pain to his shoulder and he's beginning to tire.
Persistent in his commitment of saving these men,
Out for a fourth time to meet the enemy again.
Assuring his Marines it was going to be alright,
Machine gun fire rendered his mortal plight.
As he lay over the Marine he was to save,
A thousand angels laid feathers at his blood-soaked grave.
As for the men who witnessed such courage and compassion,
They were inspired to move quickly against the enemy's action.
Some say it was Doc who saved them all,
His selfless sacrifice in answering the call.
I woke up this morning with a calm and grace,
As I looked in the mirror and saw my face.
I realized a few things about my wondering and dismay,
About the legacy Richard DeWert has left us today.
The Hospital Corps can forever stand tall,
For this young man, so fragile, gallantly gave his all.
The Medal of Honor is what they gave,
His selfless deeds so proud and brave.
Long may you rest our brother DeWert,
No longer to bear the pain of those that are hurt.
Written by: Senior Chief Hospitalman Fred E. Kasper, USN
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