top of page


I Never Served

by Phil Valentine

(Written for the Veterans Day celebration in Levelland, Texas—November 11, 2017)



I have to say I never served,

I chose a different way.

And now reflect if I deserved

The life I have today.


I guess we each must choose a path

Of where we want to go.

And hope that when our time is done

We have something to show.


Some choose to serve in humble roles,

The mentor and the teacher.

Some choose to serve eternal souls,

The rabbi and the preacher.


The veteran chose to serve us all,

Asked nothing in return.

And left a mark of deep respect

So few will ever earn.


When peril grew in distant lands

You’d always heed the call.

Some came back only half a man.

Some came back not at all.


While widows grieved and children cried

We stood and wept with patriot’s pride.

The pain for us would soon subside.

For them it never will.


It takes a very special breed

From every race and every creed

To choose to fight and even bleed

For those you’ll never know.


When poems they write and tales they tell

With fantasy’s allure,

The superheroes come and go.

It’s soldiers who endure.


Through war and peace, through good and bad

When hope in anguish hid,

I have to say I never served,

But I thank God you did.



© 2017 Phil Valentine, All rights reserved. Reprint without permission and attribution is strictly prohibited. Request permission to use this literary work by contacting Oxley Durchville Publishing at

bottom of page