Stupid Crossword Puzzle

Stuart Watkins

Listen; have you ever heard of a farmer furrowing his field?

Of course not.

They plow, seed, till the soil…



She taught 6th grade.

No wonder she beat me again.

Me? I quit school as quick as I could.

Tried to join the Air Force, something about my eyes

And blood test was tainted?

Don’t know what that meant so tried the Navy.

Kept getting sea sick. Medical Discharge.


Master Sergeant called me an ignorant jackass.

Showed him.

Kicked his ass.

Army kicked me out.

Can you believe?

Marine Corps recruiter saw me loitering.

We chatted, told him my tale of woe.

He said he needed to make quota.

Asked him if he needed some quarters.

He grinned.

Asked me if I really wanted to get in or what?

Asked me if I could read, was in good health, and I answered “Yes.”

Had me sign some papers and told the examining doctor I was good to go.

Two weeks later Quantico, Virginia became my mother, father, and whole family.

Got in shape pretty fast.

Never hit an officer, and shot hitting most of the targets.

I was what they call, “Gung Ho-Ready-to Go.”

(I added that last part.)

Afghanistan hills just like ones back in Tennessee.

Could almost run up and down them without gasping.

Platoon leader noticed and made me a squadlLeader.

My squad ran five every morning before breakfast.

Some grumbled, but not many.

Finally, we were the most fit squad in the platoon.

Fire rained down from a mountain ridge on our right flank.

Everyone found cover as best they could.

I motioned to my squad to follow me.

We jogged away from the firefight and circled west.

Running at a slow pace up the mountain,

arriving above the enemy.

We tore them up.

Twenty-seven dead.

Our platoon had six wounded.

Heard we were in for some awards.

Couldn’t read the letter the platoon leader handed me.

Didn’t care.

My family was safe, proud, and I had earned respect.

Retired now. Still a Marine.

You know, once a Marine, always.

Wife still beats me at crossword puzzles,

But I am getting better.