The Seabees' Consolation

Aug. 16, 2016 | By Seabee Magazine
By Metalsmith 2nd Class Bernard (Barney) O'Donnell, 117 Naval Construction Battalion
13258
VIRIN: 160816-N-ZY182-3258
Editors note: The following poem was sent to Seabee Online by ME2 ODonnells great-nephew, Christopher Werner. From World War II to the present, any Seabee who has worn the uniform can understand the sentiment behind the poem. ME2 ODonnell died in service to his country on Saipan one year after writing the poem, on November 19, 1944.

The Seabees' Consolation

Written on Nov. 11, 1943, Gulfport, Mississippi Im sitting here thinking of the things I left behind Id hate to put in writing just what is on my mind Weve dug a million ditches, and cleaned off acres of ground Weve tried to find some liberty in honky-tonky towns But theres one consolation gather round me while I tell When we die, well go to heaven, for weve had our stretch in hell.   We built a million kitchens, for the cooks to burn our beans We stood a million guard mounts, and weve cleaned the camp latrines Weve slept at night with scorpions; weve peeled a million spuds And killed a million snakes and ants, who tried to steal our grub When our words on earth are over, then our friends behind will tell When they died, they went to heaven, for they had their stretch in hell.   When the final taps are sounded, and we lay aside lifes cares And we stand our last inspection on the shining golden stairs The angels they will welcome us, and their golden harps will play Well dream a million canteen checks and spend them in a day It is there well hear St. Peter tell us with a loudly yell Come in, you boys of the Seabees, for youve done your time in hell.  
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VIRIN: 160816-N-XZ182-0161
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VIRIN: 160816-N-XZ182-0160