Preparing for War is Never an Each- Way Bet


An old mate, officially recognized for bravery in war, recently reflected on the erosion of our precious way of life. His concerns, shared by many veterans, included increasing national fragmentation, spurred on by constant political brainwashing with emphasis on them and us; (as opposed to obvious strengths such as one people, one nation.) His concerns also embraced the gradual and sly campaign by Thought Police slowly stealing our freedom of speech, the very base of any democracy. Nor, he added, should we ignore the current official condoning of radicals distorting our proud history into evil deeds.   

He, like other veterans was asking if military service had been worth the effort in protecting values so vital to our precious way of life? The answer is YES, it surely was. However, no one, but no one had predicted the constant greed, megalomania, incompetence and blinkered vision demonstrated by an alarming proportion of our political representatives.  Removing self -imposed blindfolds would reveal to them that our way of life is being destroyed by a noisy and destructive minority. The stark reality is our treasured democracy will not survive without national unity and social disciplines. (Keep your fingers crossed for the USA, for where they go, we go)

Politicians capable of leadership, and with the courage to demonstrate it, should no longer linger in the shadows, but step forward to lead. This includes the need to educate their colleagues of the strong measures necessary in military training to win wars. For their fellow politicians to clearly understand the first step is to remove all the obstacles to military training insisted on by trendy, naïve and rowdy disciples of political correctness. It would also be appropriate to remind all parliamentarians that sound preparation for war also includes weaponry, toughness, resilience and always a strong national spirit of pride, purpose and unity. It’s all of us together, not just those who pull the triggers.

Our beloved military is changing, as it should, to confront the challenges of the space age, but never with the current iron shackles of political correctness, or other impediments which will dilute its fighting spirit, resilience, toughness and capabilities

As for my mate and many others who wore the proud cloth, they wouldn’t have missed serving their beloved country for Quids. Me too!.  

                                 A Letter to old Soldiers

Remember swearing the oath, thinking you were special and still free

Then you arrived at the depot to become idle horrible people for all to see

Day and night Spartan routines, which would please any father’s heart

Before dawn, sleep stolen by a bugle call for another long day to start.

Polishing, beds made, rifles cleaned and a rushed meal of porridge glue

Barrack room inspections revealed specks of dust thus extra chores to do 


On graduating to a unit, it became your family forever and a day

More rules, and if you broke them, the only hope was to pray 

“Honour, love of country, duty first and all for one and one for all” 

Your heart and mind so responsive to each and every bugle call

You were ready for war, to fight and win, and always care for each other

To make sure; there was a fierce, angry sergeant as your adopted mother 


In war you tasted grief, hunger, thirst and so often, doubts and fear

Courage was fueled by the comfort of comrades, ever so near 

There was faith in your leaders and all of you were as one

When all seemed lost, and as ordered, you all stood fast and won 

Whatever the odds; never did you relent heart and spirit to any foe.

When you came home; sadly, many carried packs of restless woes 


Those who have not been part of the military will never understand why

Soldiers risk all with the fall of the dice as they go forward to live or die.

Their lives bound by proud history, honour, duty, and dear comrades all

To dishonor the sacred creed is to be banished and never again to stand tall

Their strength is unity, mate ship, pride, love of country and its way of life  

Always shared are the precious dreams, often conceived during bloody strife


Now you grow old and a new generation of soldiers marches by with pride 

Like you once were; in step, heads held high, and always as one, side by side

You can watch and cheer the young column, yet no longer follow

Young hearts, laden with the unknown; spirits high, marching into tomorrow

They pass aged footprints of peace and war where you have already been

Then will be your last and smartest salute, until the column can’t be seen

George Mansford©January 2021


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