Wednesday, 15 June 2011

29th Anniversary

Yesterday was the 29th anniversary of the liberation of the Falklands.

It's the one day of the year no matter how busy I am I take a little time to reflect on my life and look back.

Last night I was doing my Buddhist prayers and was reflecting that this time 29 years ago the fighting was over and the Argentines had surrendered.

I was up on Tumbledown still without a sleeping bag wedged into a crack between some rocks trying to sleep and stay warm. All around me was the evidence of battle; scattered shell cases, discarded helmets, rifles, bits of clothing, webbing, letters from loved ones and of course dozens of dead from both sides lying where they had fallen.

Rest in peace guys, both British and Argentine, and if any of the bullets I help feed into our GPMG killed you, know that I am truly sorry for I didn't hate you.

There is a wonderful poem by Kudyard Kipling called Tommy that captures the essence of what it is to be a soldier. Lets not forget our current batch of serving men and women. I have included an up to date version of this poem that shows little has changed in the 120 years since the Kipling first wrote the original

O then we're just like 'eroes from the army's glorious past.
Yes, it's "God go with you, Tommy," when the trip might be your last.
They pays us skivvy wages, never mind we're sitting ducks,
When clerks what's pushing pens at 'ome don't know their flippin' luck.
"Ah, yes" sez they "but think of all the travel to be 'ad."
Pull the other one. Does Cooks do 'olidays in Baghdad?
It's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, know your place,"
But it's "Tommy, take the front seat," when there's terrorists to chase

An' the town is full of maniacs who'd like you dead toot sweet.
Yes, it's "Thank you, Mr Atkins," when they find you in the street.
There's s'pposed to be a covenant to treat us fair an' square
But I 'ad to buy me army boots, an' me combats is threadbare.
An' 'alf the bloody 'elicopters can't get in the air,
An' me pistol jammed when snipers fired. That's why I'm laid up 'ere.
Yes, it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, "We 'ave to watch the pence";
Bold as brass the P.M. sez, "We spare them no expense.

But I'll tell you when they do us proud an' pull out all the stops,
It's when Tommy lands at Lyneham in a bloomin' wooden box!.

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