Constance Ammon: Remembering ‘Just a common soldier’ |

Constance Ammon: Remembering ‘Just a common soldier’

I have had an article in my office for more than 15 years. I keep it there to remind me of how many of our veterans are passing away. The newspaper clipping came from a letter written to Ann Landers from a World War II veteran in Chantilly, Virginia, who asked Ms. Landers to print the poem on Memorial Day.

It was intended to remind people to thank World War II vets before it’s too late; however, I believe we need to thank all of our men and women who have served and many who are still our protectors of Freedom.

Just a common soldier

He was getting old and paunchy, and his hair was falling fast, And he sat around the Legion telling stories of his past

Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done, In his exploits with his buddies – they were heroes, every one,

And though sometimes to his neighbors, his tales became a joke, All of his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer, for old Bill has passed away, And the world’s a little poorer, for a solider died today.

He was just a common soldier, and his ranks are growing thin, But his presence should remind us, we may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier’s part Is to clean up all the troubles that others often start.

If we cannot give him honor while he’s there to hear the praise, Then at least let’s give him homage at the ending of his days.

Perhaps a simple notice in a paper that would say, “Our Country is in mourning, ’cause a Soldier passed away.”

In closing, both my father and my husband’s father served in World War II and both are goine. Our son, a graduate of Nevada Union, is a Naval commander and has served for over 24 years. Thank you CDR Joseph Fraser, for your service and sacrifices.

Constance Ammon, Nevada County

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Connect with needs and opportunities from

Get immediate access to organizations and people in our area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User