"Missileer" by Robert A. Wyckoff

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"Missileer" by Robert A. Wyckoff

Postby AE on Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:22 am

It seems appropriate that the first poem posted in this section be Bob Wyckoff's "Missileer." As I recall, it was written for one of the early OA events and eventually became so popular that the Air Force printed it on at least three different posters of missiles (a Titan II launch, a Minuteman launch, and I've forgotten what the other one was but I'm thinking it was a Minuteman also). Bob lives in the local area so when I retired from the USAF in 1999 I asked him if he would read his poem at the retirement ceremony--which he did. It was the first time he'd ever been asked to do do...but I understand it wasn't the last!


In vacant corners of our land, off rutted gravel trails,
There is a watchful breed of men who see that peace prevails.
For them there are no waving flags, no blare of martial tune;
There is no romance in their job, no glory at high noon.

In an oft' repeated ritual, they casually hang their locks,
Where the wages of man's love and hate, are restrained in a small red box.
In a world of flick'ring colored lights, and endless robot din,
The missile crews will talk awhile, but soon will turn within.

To a flash of light or other worldly tone, conditioned acts respond.
Behind each move, unspoken thoughts, of the bombs that lie beyond.
They live with patient waiting, with tactics, minds infused,
And the quiet murmur of the heart, that hopes it's never used.

They feel the living throb, of the mindless tool they run,
They hear the constant whir, of a world that knows no sun.
Here light is ever present, no moon's nocturnal sway;
The clock's unnatural beat, belies not night nor day.

Behind a concrete door slammed shut, no starlit skies of night,
No sun-bleached clouds in azure sky, in which to dance in flight.
But certain as the rising sun, these tacit warriors seldom see,
They're ever grimly ready, for someone has to be.

Beneath it all they're common men, who eat and sleep and dream,
But between them is a common bond, of knowledge they're a team.
A group of men who love their land, who serve it long and well,
Who stand their thankless vigil, on the brink of man-made hell.

In boredom fluxed with stress, encapsuled they reside,
They do their job without compaint of pleasures oft' denied.
For duty, honor, country, and a matter of self-pride.

Capt. Robert A. Wyckoff[code][/code]
    ILCS Class 31 / ALCS Class 90-2
    490 SMS - 341 SMW/DOTI - 4315 CCTS - 4 ACCS - 2 ACCS
    ... and damned proud of every single one of my 476 nuclear alerts in SAC!
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    Postby JRumple on Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:33 am

    For a small donation to the Association of Air Force Missileers you can get this poem and a few others printed ready to frame.

    If you're new to missiles or headed back to Vandy-land be sure to bring your copy with you. Bob Wyckoff still lives in Lompoc and can often be found at the Lompoc airport on the weekends where he keeps a plane. I met him through his son who is an avid skydiver in Lompoc.
    Jack Rumple
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    Re: "Missileer" by Robert A. Wyckoff

    Postby hockey85 on Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:45 pm

    I met Mr. Wyckoff today at one of the Missile IQT graduations. It was awesome to meet him and chat about missiles, and about Deuce!

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