“Every one is going, Mom!”
“You have to do your duty, Son.”
“We desperately need the money, Hon.”
“It’ll all be jolly good fun,
and over scarce moments once it’s begun!”
Voices echo, arms wave farewell,
as adventurous lads descend into hell.
They see what boys should never see
March in when the sensible would turn and flee
They rise each day at reveille
to create a future for you and me
Built on their fear, their pride, their aim
To fight whether they be slain.
When men return, once battles end
They toast their comrades and their friends
Through years of anguish in the night
When dreams return them to the fight
Today we salute them, the wounded boys
the men of valour, whose youth was deployed
into a horror of noise and mud
baptizing them with gore and blood
So we can stand before the cenotaph
To honour their sacrifice on our behalf.
We do not glorify their war
but we know what they were fighting for.
To the boys who left home, to the men who returned whole or broken, in thanks.
Here’s a link to the song “Soldier Boy” by The Pids. I went to high school with Stu Aspinall, who will donate a portion of all iTunes sales of this song to PTSD services for returned combatants.