At the West Point Military Academy
(Formerly known as the U.S.Military Academy)
Will be between 85 and 90 this year, 2013.
That is quite a spread in age,
Entirely due to wartime conditions in 1945.
Many were already in the army,
Looking for a college education.
When the West Shore train stopped
At West Point that July, those who
Trooped up the hill looked like a mixture
Of draftees and those already enlisted.
Many of the World War Two veterans
In the crowd departed the first week.
They did not expect nor would they countenance
The juvenile hazing that greeted new cadets.
They went on to the G.I. bill for education
Leaving a depleted collection of plebes at West Point
Consisting largely of sons of graduates
And youngsters not yet drafted, like me.
Often when we get together for a reunion,
We marvel that such a disparate group
Came together as a class and were able to
Maintain that spirit down through the years.
Some of us drifted away from military careers
After we had served the requisite period of service.
But we all agree that the privilege of attending
West Point was a singular preparation for life.
So here's to those who turn ninety this year
From your young comrades of eighty-five.
May you all be present at next year's
65th celebration of our graduation!