21 Oct 15

The following is from an old comrade in the UK, a bloody veteran of the Border Wars in Africa, from the 1960s through 1990. He was wounded multiple times (more than I was in Vietnam), but courageously stood his ground and stood-up for his men. He is a genuine hero, albeit a long-forgotten hero of a long-forgotten war.

Like me, he is an old soldier, trying to articulate to the next generation truths few who weren’t there can understand, nor want to understand:

“No one knows me better than my now-ageing comrades, who worked with me during the darkest days in South Africa, who know, in a very personal way, the great sacrifice, the great elation, the great enthusiasm, the great pain, the great fear, the great bravery, the great pride, and the great heartbreak. Old comrades have your interests at heart, because they know your individual capacity for pain, and your level of experience, and because they wore the same bloody field uniform you did, they feel what you feel. Few others can.

This is my deep belief. When chips are down, find familiar voices and hands. There is no substitute!”


Women, Whisky, and War

They are trying to gentle the gender,
To “civilize” Western Man.
They think that your thoughts are too dirty,
Not to mention your heart and your hands!

They bid us banish our weapons,
For bravery is “macho,” they say.
We must learn that weeping’s not weakness
And put it on public display.

They know not of weeping in private,
They know not how our hearts break
They think that a soldier’s not human
The arrogance of the mistake!

Let us charge our glasses for drinking
A dram to our friends in the Corps
A toast to a life worth the living
To Women, and Whiskey, and War!

Not women to serve as our playmates,
But partners to stand at our side,
Our equals under the heavens,
And first in our hearts and our pride.

Not whiskey to burn out the senses,
But a dram of the Highland malt,
To share with our friends over stories
And to ease the pain of our faults.

Not war as a game for the sadist,
But honor for men who would fight,
Refuse acquiescence to slavery,
And lay down their lives for the Right!

They are trying to gentle the gender,
But there are wolves in the world,
And who will answer the summons,
When a Fuhrer’s next flag is unfurled?

They are trying to gentle the gender,
But when the old wolf’s at the door,
They will beg for men who are living,
For Women, Whisky, and War!

Robert A Hall, Scottish/American Military Society