Unfurl the colours of those who’ve served

In times past and places far away

Unfurl those pennants and ensigns bright

Let us show them in proud array

Unfurl the colours of those who fought

And would do so again even today

Show off those banners of those who fell

So young and who shall never grow grey


Giving it a Go


“Remember, everything is possible as long as you have a positive attitude, and truly believe you will succeed. Rest assured, Lads, I am right here behind you!”

“Okay, Sir; so as long as we keep believing that we can climb out of our trench in the face of pre-sighted machine guns, cross one hundred yards of waist-deep mud, shell-holes, and broken wire, and then work our way through an additional fifty yard wide mine field before climbing their barbed wire obstacles, we should take their trench easy-peasey?” Private Grant asked.

“I think that sums it up pretty well, Lad,” the captain replied.

“Well, let’s give it a go then,” Grant said confidently.

You just have to appreciate our education system, the captain thought to himself as he lined the eager replacements up for the assault.


Keeping the Peace

Conflict seems to be a situation that humanity has a hard time avoiding. Jesus said there would be wars and rumours of wars, and that is manifested again and again even in our “enlightened” modern era. What we have tried to do is negotiate resolutions to those conflicts and where necessary “help the process along.” I have friends that have been part of that process (whether for good or for bad) as “Peacekeepers.” They served in Beirut and in Bosnia respectively, and it seems the experience has left more of a mark on them, than they let on those lands.

There have been successes I am sure, but it is the struggles (if not failures) that capture our attention. Below are links to the trailers for three films in which the story of the “Peacekeepers” is given. While they may not be totally accurate in historical terms, they do give an insight.

The first is about the 1961 UN intervention in the Congo, which involved Irish (and other) UN troops.

The United Nations again intervened in the civil war and ethnic cleansing that followed the collapse of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. It gives a representation of the trials of British UN Peacekeepers in that intervention.

The UN and later the US in support of the UN entered Somalia at approximately the same time as the events in Bosnia. Black Hawk Down tells some of that story.

Hopefully there will come a day when we don’t need military intervention to find “peace.”



United States MARINE CORPS 0311 RIFLEMAN MOS DESERT MILITARY PATCH - SEMPER  FI | Marine corps quotes, Marine corps, Usmc quotes

I served just four years with the Corps

Then it was college that was in store

But an 0311 I’m proud to be

Taking pride in being infantry

That MOS has left a legacy

An iffy back, and even worse knee

But I’d do it again if it were called on me

To keep my friends and countrymen free


“By Any Other Name”

The military are masters of nomenclature.  You do have to understand their unique world-view, however.  Back in the ‘80s, our canned rations were replaced by MREs.  In typical straight forward military-speak that was the acronym for “Meal Ready to Eat.”  It was an accurate description I guess if what you mean by “ready to eat” is that it still requires the rehydration of various freeze-dried components such as shredded potato breakfast patties, also known as Styrofoam.


Weekend Writing Prompt #211 – Nomenclature in 76 words


Soldier, The War, The Army, Conflict, The Military

Lonely sentinel in the post-midnight chill

Darkness your world surrounds

Listening breathlessly to every sound

From beyond the perimeter measured

Was that snap a creature natural

By its nocturnal foraging made,

Or is an intruder sneaking up

To toss a hand granade?

The sound has passed, and so you breathe

Relieved that the threat has passed

And you await the moment when

You stand relieved at last

“No fire or disorder” to report

To your hooch you will crawl

And pray the next watch

Is uneventful

For tomorrow new duties will bring

As soon as it is light

After a near sleepless night

Devoid of any dreams


Poetics – War Poetry

Field Day (Chores)

Cleaning Up, Broom, Bucket, Home, Ground, Cleaning, Mop

“Okay Marines, liberty is scheduled to commence at 1100.  Unless this field day is finished, not a single one of you wastes of space is setting foot out of this barracks,” the sergeant snapped, before turning on his heel and heading back to his office.

“You heard him,” Corporal Chin said to his squad.  “Meissner and Reece empty those shit cans.  White and Cortez get this deck swabbed.  Doc, you and Smitty get the head swabbed.”

The head was a daunting proposition, but Hospitalman Davis used Navy ingenuity, finishing on time by overflowing the toilets to speed the mopping.


Flash Fiction Challenge: Chores

A sadly semi-autobiographical tale.