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.”


“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

Healer Heal Yourself

image: IWM

HM2 Yamato went down heavily.  Corporal Herrington ran to his side.

“You okay, Doc?” the Marine asked with concern on his face.

“I think so. What do you think?” the Corpsman said pointing.

“It doesn’t look good,” Herrington replied.

“You know, Steve, you could work on your bedside manner a bit,” the Corpsman replied.

“What do you need me to do?” the Marine asked.

“Go pick my bag up from over there and bring it to me,” the Corpsman instructed.

Herrington went and retrieved the medic’s bag from the roadside, where it had fallen.

Yamato pulled out a roll of tape and began wrapping his shoe.  “That’s the last time I’m going to let you talk me into buying cheap running shoes.”


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.


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British NCOs WW1, Image – A family photo from Padre’s Ramblings

It is Armed Forces Day in the UK.  It is marked annually at the end of June to commemorate the service of men and women of the British Armed Forces.  It is similar to the American Veterans’ Day, though it is more recent, having been created in 2006 (as compared to the US’ celebration which dates to the 1950s).  Although an official event, it is not a public holiday in the UK.


Service isn’t just a thing that you do

I really needs to be part of you

Prepared on behalf of other’s – to enter the fray

Waiting to count the risks “on some other day.”

To serve, to protect, even sacrifice

Is what it is to enter that way of life





Drum On

image: Chattanooga Times Free Press


Rhythmic drumming from beyond the glade

A snare call for those marching to its beat

Rousing courage in those afraid

As battle beckons their marching feet

Drummer boy  –  give cadence to all

For how can you possibly know –

You’ll be the first to fall?




dVerse Quadrille #106: Drum



Cruel and Unusual

Soldiers, Military, Usa, Weapons, War, Fight, Defense

Image by Defence-Imagery from Pixabay 

“Second Platoon, reporting as ordered,” Staff Sergeant Romero said in a clear voice.

“Excellent,” responded the civilian efficiency consultant, turning his back momentarily to pick up a large stack of fill in the blanks questionnaires.  “I have a PowerPoint presentation to explain these for you, and then . . . ”

He turned back around to find the marquee tent empty.

“That’s odd,” he mused out loud, “third time this week.”




Marines, Military, Drill, Marine, Usa


When ships were oak,

As were the hearts of men

Every man has his place

And every place its man

Perfect order – shipshape – Bristol fashion

Made for vessels always ready for action

Order is familiar to military men

Practice makes perfect

And then you practice again

When you wake up

When you lay down your head

What you will wear

And when you break bread

Every man has his place

And every place its man

It’s order you rely on

As a military man




dVerse – Poetics: Order, Order!