Soldier for Life: Former Soldier inspires others through poetry
Charles E. Cooke, a Pentagon Police officer and former Soldier, communicates his thoughts and feelings through poetry. He has a stack of poems, which he carries in a leather briefcase. If someone at the Pentagon is feeling blue or needs inspiration, ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 16, 2015) -- People entering the Pentagon are greeted with a smile and a handshake from Charles E. Cooke, Pentagon Police officer, who can usually be found guarding the building's entryways.

From 1983 to 1986, Cooke served in the Army as an infantryman. "We worked together as one team. We depended on one another, and, we watched each other's back," he said.

Working as a team requires good communications and caring about others, he said.

Today, Cooke communicates his thoughts through poetry. He has a stack of poems, which he carries in a leather briefcase. If someone is feeling blue or needs inspiration, he will offer them a poem that he thinks will help.

And, during off-peak hours, when not many are entering or leaving the building, he will even take a moment to recite a poem to someone - he has memorized them all, delivering them in a pleasant sing-song fashion.

Cooke believes everyone should try to broaden their circle of acquaintances and experiences outside of their own little group to help make the world a better place.

While Cooke has lifted the spirits of countless people, a few have taken advantage of him, stealing his work and making a profit from it, he said. So now, he registers all of his poetry at the U.S. Copyright Office.

Here are two of his poems, printed with permission.


The Pentagon Police had risked their lives to save others

Entering the Pentagon in search for bodies, one after another

Some officers were denied entry by the heat from the jet fuel

One officer had reached the point of using his voice as a tool

Officers were dedicated to maintaining their post under control

There were officers helping the injured victims while on patrol

The fire was spreading within that section by the minute

The Pentagon Police officers did their best to help defend it

There were a few police officers that stared death in the face

They were struggling against time, without a second to waste

There were police officers escorting the fire and rescue team

Lives were definitely at risk during the evacuation from the scene

The police officers that were off, arrived without any delay

Pentagon Police officers have more pride than words can say

The Pentagon Police officers created a new meaning for brave

They didn't ask for anything in return, for the lives they help save

The Pentagon Police are mixed with different cultures and race

They work together as a family with the threats they may face

The police officers risked their lives and worked extremely hard

They deserve a lot of respect for doing a great job

To Our Marines and Soldiers

We are proud of our Marines and Soldiers

For supporting our country with their voluntary enlistment time

For the sacrifices they made, leaving home at the drop of a dime

For being on alert for terrorist attacks during the day and night

For fighting deadly battles that no one else would dare to fight

We are proud of our Marines and Soldiers

For maintaining their position when they were receiving attacks

For providing a cover of protection for their fellow Marine and Soldiers' backs

For moving the democracy for freedom in other nations forward

For risking their lives in combat with a medal as a reward

We are proud of our Marines and Soldiers

For keeping their sanity while fighting in an unfamiliar terrain

For performing their duties in the blistering heat with no signs of rain

For managing with the few hours a night that they had to sleep

For tolerating twice as much as the average American would seek

We are proud of our Marines and Soldiers

For their effort with moving our armed forces in the right direction

For everything that they accomplished to make a positive reflection

For having the amount of courage that is by far above any chart

For showing the strength and bravery that's in each Marine and Soldiers' heart

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