GySgt. Thomas K. Fowler
Leatherneck Magazine, August 2004
Her blades are eroded, skin wrinkled with time,
Controls antiquated, she's well past her prime.
Computers outdated, sun blemished paint.
She's older than most of the pilots who fly,
But when America calls, she's first in the sky.
Her load has been lightened over the years,
She struggles to haul the troops and their gear.
But look at the past and what's been revealed,
By "grunts" who were rescued from out of the field.
I've stood in her cabin for static display,
As teary eyed vets stop by just to say:
To them she is legend, an angel from high,
Who pulled out their buddies destined to die.
They told tales of horror and war in the night,
Her nickname is Phrog in the tales they recite.
They weep and they shiver to see her again,
For to them she is family, a longest friend.
Her approach was like music to a wounded grunt's ears,
Death often averted when Sea Knight appeared.
So next time you fly her, dwell not on her age,
Remember her fable in the battles that raged.
Load up the .50s, get a new coat of paint,
'Cause with Osama bin Laden, she'd love to acquaint.