As a gathering of Infantry Veterans meet in the Australian capital to commemorate their Battalion’s participation in the Vietnam War, the International War Crimes Court is considering its probe into the British Army for atrocities allegedly committed in Afghanistan and an American Seal has been publicly reviled for alleged atrocities…
The hunters, they are gathering in Canberra this year.
They’ll tell each other lots of lies
And steal each other’s beer.
But their stories aren’t for publishing
They’re not for you to hear.
For these, the men who went to war,
Lean, lithe and silent, ghostly then.
Now paunchy, pallid, blear of eye,
Their stories, told of service life
Might make you laugh, more likely cry.
Nowadays, with hindsight’s wisdom told, their tales
Are glossed, embellished thoughts on war,
Reflecting social aspects voiced by those
Who eagerly howl; declaring all and any conflict is a crime.
(Yet had they gone still would they so – do you suppose?)
But when the hunters gather
Then the truth, if ever such there is,
Is broached and P.C. takes a walk.
While drunken geriatrics laugh and roar and feebly thump the table.
I think Society should listen very carefully to their talk.
By Michael Shave
FILE PHOTO: Warrant Officer Class 2 Paul Fuge and Keith Payne VC, share a non-alcoholic beer at Kandahar Airfield during Mr Payne’s visit to Joint Task Force 633, ANZAC Day 2009. Photo by Sergeant Brent Tero.