As servicemen have always done
we soldier many years
We witness so much laughter
and witness many tears


Whilst we serve there may come times
we stop to wonder why
We’ve survived through conflicts
where so many had to die


Though my career has ended
my memories are still strong
Of all the men I knew back then
some guided me along


We learn so much from our mistakes
we make them on the way
It’s with the aid of comrades
that things turn out okay


I believe it’s in the training
it’s in those early years
It’s in those days of hardship
when we learn to face our fears


For some it wasn’t easy
we really got quite stressed
But when we looked around us
we realised we were blessed


Some people like reunions
they chat and dance and drink
Others are much more content
to just sit back and think


I am of the latter type
I’ve come to realise
I am one of many
who’s tried to break the ties


It’s not because I don’t enjoy
the thoughts of looking back
Be it Berlin, Northern Ireland
The Falklands or Iraq


We went to these we did our job
and did it as we ought
But now that it’s all over
I like to spare a thought


For all those who survived those years
and passed away through time
Some had done the family thing
their lives became sublime


The loved ones of these men will grieve
with love the years can’t sever
We knew them as our comrades
as that they’ll live forever …


Author’s Note: In dedication to
and inspired by
the premature passing of
colleague and good friend
Andy Longhurst.



 This is a selection from Military Matters: An Anthology of Poetry – Volume 4.

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