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A Soldier's Book of Poems: Poems 3 & Four.

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

A Soldiers Life

Why must we fight

Why must we die

Does the world not hear

The children cry

Who are the soldiers

Who give up their time

To prevent other countries

From committing a crime

What makes an invader

Think they have the right

To take over a country

Without a fight

If they want to invade us

They better beware

For they’ll come up against men

Full of courage and dare

Soldiers who struggle

From morning till night

To prepare themselves

For the ultimate fight

For the love of their children

For the pride of their land

They’ll fight with their weapons

They’ll kill with bare hands

It’s hard on their family

Especially their spouse

Who must look after the family

Look after the house

The training relentless

To stay sharp as a knife

What kind of person

Lives a soldiers life.


Far Away

I’ve been all over the world

I’ve seen how others live

I like that kind of life

It keeps my mind above the sieve

I know that other people

Like the comfort of one space

Like the safety in their numbers

Hate the danger of an unknown place

But I crave the unknown places

Strive to seek them out

Like the danger and excitement

For me that’s what life is about

I’ve thought of settling down

Possibly with you

But the world seems to beckon

Something different, something new

I want to say I love you

And I’d really love to stay

But my world is getting restless

And I’ll be far away

Yes, I’ll be far away.

They send me to the places

That others will not go

But I will get the job done

This, I think they know

My senses seem to come alive

The adrenaline rush I crave

My fears brushed aside

From repeated excitement waves

I know that death is never far

But this does not change my stance

For euphoria fills my body

When I ask the devil for a dance

I don’t think I am reckless

But I do not fear the fall

I don’t seem to fear my death

I fear not truly living at all

All thoughts of home escape me

I can’t explain it, I’m just that way

So even though I love you

I’ll be far away

Yes, I’ll be far away

E.J.R. Hardy

I wrote this in 1985.


This is where I left you. It was the Summer of 1981. Having now done push-ups after a few drinks, I fell asleep on the bus ride to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Shilo, Manitoba. Unfortunately, upon waking up shortly after turning off the Highway, the first thing I see is a sign, "Welcome to the Municipality of Cornwallis". I was completely confused and wondered what I had gotten myself into.

I continue down my early career path:

What I had gotten myself into was another slap of reality. I would spend the next 9 weeks in World War II German Prisoner of War Barracks, completing my Artillery Trade Qualification Level 3 (TQ3) Training on a 105mm Towed Howitzer. Then, I finally get to train on the 155mm M109 Self-Propelled Howitzer. You know, the one the Recruiting Officer told me was my replacement for actually wanting to work on Tanks. Yes, that one.

Well, having just completed my 13 weeks of Basic Training at CFB Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, my 9 weeks of Artillery TQ 3 Training, and my 2 weeks of M109SP Conversion Training, we are sat down to be given our fate. Of the 19 young new Artillery Gunners ready to work on the Guns, 13 are sent to the First Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (1 RCHA), in Lahr, Germany.

The lucky ones who were a minimum of 18 years old, would be flown to Germany after a week of Out of Country Administration. We the lucky 6 that were only 17 years old, were given a bus ride to our new Room assignment, in the Third Regiment, 3RCHA, Barracks in CFB Shilo. We were given 3 hours to unpack our kit in our new rooms, then re-pack for immediate departure to join our new Unit, who were already in the field at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, as part of Exercise Rendezvous 1981 (RV 81). Which, was the largest concentration of the Canadian Army since the Korean War.

Three hours later, we were back on a bus, heading to the Brandon, Manitoba Airport. Where conveniently, a C130 Hercules was waiting to take us to CFB Chatham, New Brunswick. No, we were not that special, we were luggage pick-up along the way. Once we had landed at CFB Chatham, we were bused the 180 Kilometers to CFB Gagetown. Where, we were then driven into the Training Area, to our awaiting New Air Defence Detachments.

That's right folks, I did say the Air Defence. We lucky six did not get to work on the Guns. No, not the M109SP, as promised by the Recruiting Officer, not even the Towed 105mm. No, we were sent to U Battery, the Air Defence Battery, 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. Yes, that was my welcome to the Canadian Armed Forces, introduction during my first six (6) months of Service.

I will add that on a personal level, I look at my poems of today in comparison to my early song days, and I am very thankful that my poetry has improved. At least in my opinion.

I will continue my story with my next poem.

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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Dre Erwin
Dre Erwin
16 Ιουν 2023
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I'm thrilled and grateful that you took the time to share this. It was a delight to read from start to finish.

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