Ode to an Ordinary Soldier


I was an Ordinary Soldier

There are lots like me

Now I am much older

But I used to dress like a tree


I served in Australia

I served overseas

I never failed ya

Now I got bad knees


I was nothing special

I didn’t write a book

I didn’t cover my face

I didn’t have the look

I retired without a trace


I got no extra gongs

I’m not seen on TV

I haven’t written no songs

Nor do I have a city key


Some of us are dead

Some of us are hurt

Some of us are not right in the head


I trained at High Range

I trained in Shoalwater Bay

I suffered on Pucka Range

I trained day after day


I was an Ordinary Soldier

Not all of us deployed

I thought I told ya

We were ready to use our toys

Cadets Chocos then ARA

I’ve been all the way


I got shot at

I got rocketed

I donned my hard hat

But couldn’t fire back


I went outside the wire

I was scared the first time

After a while the fear lost its fire

I was resigned to the fact

The troop was good at their job

I knew I would be backed

I really miss that mob


Now I battle each day with pain and no sleep

I try not to wake the misses

By not making a peep


I fight DVA now like too many others

These obstructionist public servant fat cats

Have no idea what it’s like to serve with brothers

My local RSL as well is controlled by a bunch of rats


Some of my mates have been killed by the enemy

Some of my mates have killed themselves

Some of my mates have lost their family

Some are not even mates at all

But they are still my family


I think of the great men who trained me

I think of the lads I trained and still see

More than one now is a cop

I hope I did a good job to bring them home in one piece

I know I lost one named “Pop”

May he rest in peace


I whinge about my foot

I go on about my knees

I grumble about the ringing in my ears

I complain about the pain in my back

But I’ve got all my parts to enjoy for years

Unlike the young bloke who was blown up in Irac

He’s blind

Mates for Mates got his back


On ANZAC Day they look at my chest

I don’t wear all those badges

To see if I’ve been put to the test

They don’t understand it’s not the number or type of medals we wear

It’s about the old mates that we care

Together forever Brothers-in-Arms



By Peter Rewko
25 January 2016

Dedicated to Ordinary Soldiers and all my long suffering English Teachers.


Peter Rewko spent 33 years in the Regular and Reserve Army, and deployed overseas on exercises and operations, including Iraq in 2008. He was in the Cavalry for the majority of that time. He is still married after 25 years, with two adult sons. He lives in Beaudesert, Queensland.










7720 Total Views 2 Views Today

Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *