The “Missileer” poem was first read to the TAC Missileers by Lois Butler at the 2007 Tucson reunion. At the 2009 Dayton reunion, Ray Lischka presented Lois with a framed copy of the poem, autographed by its author. Once again, Lois with much feeling, read the poem to the TAC Missileers.
Bravo Lois! Our thanks to you and Ray!
By Captain Robert A. Wyckoff
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 loving 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 or 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 tactic 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 complaint,
of pleasures oft’ denied.
For duty, honor, country,
and a matter of self-pride.