A Memorial Day Tribute to Paul Mallory, A U.S. Soldier
By: Janette Spencer Sprankle
Today I read a wonderful story
In an email from a friend,
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)