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A Soldier's Book of Poems: Poems 5 & Six.

Military Man

In a time of need, he’s always there

A hardened look, an empty stare

A man of steel, he tries to be

Protecting life, for you and me

Ages' and age’s, have gone by

They always fight, they usually die

They do their job, in the face of fear

Always knowing, death is near

What drives a man, to be this way

Serving his country, every day

Up in the morning, out for a run

It isn’t easy, not always fun

A lot of the time, he’s away from home

His wife and kids, left alone

There’s something now, that makes him sad

Some in the country, treat him bad

The kids in college look down on him

To be a soldier, seems a sin

The places he’s been, the things he’s done

Makes college look, like grade one

School is hard, from the start

But college and war, are worlds apart

He knows someday, he may have to fight

And give his life, to keep things right

Next time you see him, don’t run or hide

Shake his hand, with acceptance and pride

He does his job, the best he can

He has great pride, he’s a military man.


On Guard

The night is dark

The winds blowing strong

You think you here movement

But you could be wrong

You try to focus

Then begin to stare

Your eyes see the enemy

But he’s really not there

You’re cold and tired

You’ve been fighting all day

Buy you must stay alert

The enemy is not far away

Your eyes growing weary

They begin to close

That’s the hardest time

Every soldier knows

Will relief ever come

You can’t wait to get sleep

You know when it’s your turn

It will be short, but deep

The rain starts to pour

As you stand all alone

You get a cold chill

That goes right to the bone

Your shift is now over

You know it was hard

But you can be proud

You did your turn on guard.


That's right folks, I did say the Air Defence. We lucky six that were not old enough (18) to be deployed outside of Canada, did not get to work on the Guns. No, not the M109SP, as promised by the Recruiting Officer, not even the Towed 105mm Howitzer. No, we were sent to "U" Battery, the Air Defence Battery of the 3rd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (3 RCHA), who used Hand-held, ground-to-air, Blowpipe Missiles. Do you think that was enough salt in the wound. No, no it wasn't. Because I would then spend the next few weeks training on the 40mm Boffin. A World War II Airfield Air Defence Gun. Which, I might add, had 1942 stamped on the Barrels.

That is pretty much where I finished with my previous post.

After being whisked into the field (Training Area) of Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Gagetown, New Brunswick, to join our new Battery, we were introduced to our Battery Sergeant Major (BSM), normally a Master Warrant Officer (MWO) and our Troop Sergeant Major's (TSM's), normally a Sergeant. We were given introductions, a verbal lay of the land, rules and regulations, Fire Orders and then we were assigned to our new positions. I was introduced to my new Detachment Commander, a Bombardier (Artillery Corporal), who welcomed me with an invitation to the Junior Ranks Field Mess (Drinking Tent in the Field). Where, I was politely invited to buy the first round for my Detachment Commander and the 2i/c / Driver. I was the brand new Blowpipe Operator for an Air Defence Detachment, G73E.

That is correct folks. I did say Blowpipe Operator. Not in the Armoured Corps, not with a 155mm M101Self-Prepelled (SP) Howitzer Detachment, not with a 105mm Towed Howitzer Detachment, not even on a 40 mm Boffin, Airfield Air Defence Gun. Which, I had just finished the last two (2) weeks training on. WTF.

We would then spend the next six (6) weeks living and training in the field. Working our way towards the two (2) week Final Exercise of Rendezvous 81 (RV 81). Which, concluded with the largest live fire demonstration conducted, since the Korean War.

Immediately upon return to CFB Shilo, Manitoba, the Regiment was sent on Summer Leave (Holiday).

Yes, that was my welcome to the Canadian Armed Forces, during my first six (6) months of Service.

I will continue my story with my next poem/s.

As noted before, I did not place my name and date of completion with my earlier poems. However, all of the poems from my book are copyright protected. E.J.R. Hardy.

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Jun 17, 2023
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Poetry by E.J.R. Hardy
Poetry by E.J.R. Hardy
Jun 18, 2023
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Mountain Cliff Hiker with Dre Erwin

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