Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Memorial Day Tribute

Over the Memorial Day weekend I didn't post anything on Facebook or my blog.  I had received an email from my friend Mardell.  The subject was:  Wonderful Dog Story. This story really touched my heart and I have been thinking about it ever since.  One because it was Memorial Day weekend and two, because I work around our Veterans every day and know some of the challenges they have after returning home from overseas and wartime situations.  There really isn't a day that goes by I don't think about and appreciate those "Heroes" who gave their lives for all of us here in America that has allowed us to keep our freedom.  This story is about a dog and his owner to which I wrote this poem about.  For those who read the story (because I know some of Mardell's email contacts are the same as mine), I hope it had touched them the way it touched me.  It is kind of lengthy, but I hope you get out of the poem what I got from the story.

A Memorial Day Tribute to Paul Mallory, A U.S. Soldier
By:  Janette Spencer Sprankle
May 2012

Today I read a wonderful story
In an email from a friend,
I couldn’t help but share it too
A special message it did send.

It was about a US Soldier
One who fought a fight of war,
I cannot help but shed a tear
It made my heart fly high and soar.

You see this special soldier
Had a friend he left behind,
In a shelter he was kept
For someone to love him and be kind.

The soldier’s friend was a big black Lab
The best friend the soldier had,
It was just the two of them for years
And to leave his dog made the Soldier sad.

Six months before the dog was left
Paul received a call for Iraq,
He knew he may not return back home
In the war he came under attack.

They advertised the dog’s name as “Reggie”
This dog didn’t respond much to it at all,
He was sad and lonely and laid in his kennel
With him was a message from his owner Paul.

A stranger that came to “Reggie’s” town
He’d only been there a while, but alone,
Although the folks were very friendly
The stranger needed a companion in his home.

He went to the shelter where “Reggie” was
After calls from other folks,
They said the stranger was the best of many
This is what we decided, and it’s you who we will coach.

With all of “Reggie’s” belongings
There was a pad he used as his bed,
A bag of toys. mostly tennis balls and his dishes
And a sealed letter, the new owner finally read.

Paul wrote, my dog seemed to always have
Two balls in his mouth at a time,
He always tried to have three in there
But he hadn’t managed it as yet,… but that was fine.

The next thing the new owner read
Was that “Reggie” wasn’t the dogs real name,
The new owner was the first to know this
“Tank” is the dog’s name that he claimed.

Once the stranger read all about this
He said “Tank’s” name several times
"Tank" perked up his ears and wagged his tail
And knew he had a new owner he could call ‘mine’.

"So whatdaya’ say we play some ball?"
His ears perked up again and he now had a plan,
"Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?"
And off to the other room “Tank” ran.

It’s amazing what the story revealed next
I could not help but cry,
For when “Tank” came back in the room again
Three balls in his mouth, and his tail flying high.

So Paul Mallory, rest in peace my friend
Your dog “Tank” loved you first when you took him home,
And now with his new owner who’s thankful to you
For without your letter, “Tank’s” name he would never have known.

‘Thank you Paul Mallory and all of our Veterans who fought for our freedom that cost you your lives,….we HONOR you! To all of our other Veterans that are still away from home and to those that have returned but who have also paid dearly for their service to our country, ....  I write this note with much Respect and Love – Janette

At the end of this story it read:
A veteran is someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including their life.'

"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."
(G. K. Chesterton)


  1. It is a wonderful story and I love your version. However the story is not true. Please google "paul mallory soldier" for information

  2. True or not it is one of the most inspirational stories I have read in a long time!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. It's inspirational because it's fictitious. That's the beauty of fiction, one can create whatever one desires to make a point, but that doesn't make it true. I agree with "Anonymous" in urging people to seek truth re: Paul Mallory, to at least keep from perpetuating a work of fiction as gospel truth. Just saying...

  5. Inspiration also can come from true life stories where no creativity to make a point is necessary. Whether a "work" is true or not, the inspiration one may gain from reading such a work is what is important. :-)

  6. Funny, most people refer to snopes.com as a reason something isn't true.Even other websites.However, recently it has been shown that snopes is not always accurate and does not always research well to get all the facts. Maybe somone should google that before saying this story or any other story is false.