If you want to read the entire poem, you can by clicking on this hyperlink. I excerpted enough below so that you can get the gist of the poem.
"I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play."
"Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit."
"You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!"
There are so many sacrifices that go into military service, but most things in life that have great value require sacrifice. Our American freedoms and values are certainly worth the sacrifice. I have served myself (23 years on active duty and a combat tour), but I am grateful to all those that served before me, served with me, or currently serve. Freedom certainly is not free. It has come at great cost with over 1.3 million deaths attributed to the totality of American wars from the Revolution up to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When counting the cost to lives, though, we cannot forget the war wounded, totaling over 1.5 million. So, although freedom has come at a high cost, it will be secure as long as there are courageous men and women who are willing to stand in the gap and pay the cost even if it requires that “last full measure of devotion” (Abraham Lincoln, “Gettysburg Address”).
May God bless America!