The Final Wakey (last night in Nui Dat)

For twelve months, this place has been, the sum of all our fears
But sadly, for many, it was their valley of tears
Some of us volunteered, others had no choice
But tomorrow we are going home, a day we’ll all rejoice

We won’t miss the humidity, the leeches or the rain
Nor the mental anguish, forever to be our pain
Some will carry nightmares, right up to their grave
Memories of their closest mates, the ones they couldn’t save

It wasn’t all bombs and bullets, the locals all went through
Sometimes a spare ration pack supplemented their rice stew
And when Christmas came around, Santa would make a call
With presents for the children and goodwill spread to all

Hospitals and playgrounds, were built on our days free
And if we were foreign devils, well that’s all news to me
Land mines and punji stakes, awaited a careless stride
Sometimes so well hidden, a sapper was your guide

I know in showing gratitude, I am somewhat of a miser
But after a year in country, I am older and a lot wiser
When the chips are well and truly down, there is nothing you can’t hack
The most important thing in life, is that someone has your back


They’ll say our cause was all in vain, when we have departed
But so too was Gallipoli and that’s where the legend started
The simple fact we all recall, above an M60s’ prattle
In the ten years that we were here, we never lost a battle


By Tomas ‘Paddy’ Hamilton
2 May 2022



FILE PHOTO: Australian Task Force Base at Nui Dat.




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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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