From a post by Rhodie Bushman
For the young boys out there who never went to the army…..
When you happen to come across some older men telling their army stories, you might laugh or sneer at the “old toppies talking army” again, but pause for a moment, look at their faces and you may just see that small tear forming, the slight tremble of a lip or that sad look in their eyes then consider this;
They went to the army not by choice but by conscription.
They went in at an early age – many at 17. Just out of school.
Birthdays were not spent with Mommy and Daddy and friends in celebration but most likely training, in the bush or busy with something military. And birthdays were forgotten.
They built a Brotherhood which outshines any friendship.
This Brotherhood came from seeing and experiencing things that youngsters of that age were not yet supposed to experience.
Death, fear, exhaustion, pain, hunger, wet, tired.
You name it, they experienced it. Many of them on a daily basis.
Newly made friends died. Friends that became closer than your own family because your very lives depended on each other.
Those that did not do battle had their own experiences that took years off their lives as well.
When we talk about “our time in the army”, it’s because we are proud to have won our families just that little extra freedom, and because it soothes the soul.
As we get older, these things catch up on us, and distant memories sometimes come flooding back bringing along with them the smells, sounds and sometimes the horrors.
So, next time you have a giggle about the ballies chatting about the old times, spare a thought for those youngsters that never got to your age because they paid the ultimate price so that you could enjoy today.
And lastly, spare a special thought for their parents that never had the privilege of seeing them grow up and have families of their own.© greatwhitetribe.com - Respect copyright - You may link freely to this content