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A Poem by Danny Martin

Acknowledgements

My thanks to Hollywood
When you showed me John Rambo
Stitching up his arm with no anaesthetic
And giving them “a war they won’t believe”
I knew then my calling, the job for me

Thanks also to the recruitment adverts
For showing me soldiers whizzing around on skis
And for sending sergeants to our school
To tell us of the laughs, the great food, the pay
The camaraderie

I am, dear taxpayer, forever in your debt
You paid for my all-inclusive pilgrimage
One year basking in the Garden of Eden
(I haven’t quite left yet)

Thanks to Mum and thanks to Dad
Fuck it,
Thanks to every parent
Flushing with pride for their brave young lads
Buying young siblings toy guns and toy tanks
Waiting at the airport
Waving their flags

Permanent link to this article: http://veteransforpeace.org.uk/2011/a-poem-by-danny-martin/

4 comments

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  1. tag22Terry

    My father served for many years in the RN…he did not fire guns…he was Catering Officer…but he was at the sinking of the Bismark…and on his death bed he was still remembering the cries of the German sailors who were left behind at the scene…screaming and crying for their mothers…left to sink in the deep sea…their only grave…it was not through fear that I did not follow my brothers and sister into the forces…it was just that I could not be part of the killing machine…I did remember my Ten Commandments. Some have to personally experience what being in the forces requires, and many lack the moral courage to say enough is enough. It is time to stop the killing.

  2. tag22Terry

    There has been an exceptional interview with a former military lawyer who was involved in Iraq. He was advising about the illegality of some of the techniques practiced by the troops in Iraq. He has now resigned, has spoken out, and is about to be ordained as an Anglican priest. Until now he has been silenced by the MoD, it is a pity that he has taken until now to speak out.

  3. Mrs Lyons

    This is great. The way we are drip fed from the moment we enter this world the importance of nationality, and that means one thing in the western world…. Service, Military service, supporting it, being part of it, promoting it shows you are good citizens, you are ‘normal’ and you care about the fallen (but only the fallen that are the same race and origin as you obviously!) I’ve just seen a picture of a ‘Call of Duty’ screen shot with the tag line JOIN THE ARMY, IT’S LIKE XBOX ONLY YOU DIE! Bad taste maybe, a little funny though, uncomfortable but most importantly it’s so true. ARMY, BE THE BEST. Best at what? Conforming? Killing? No, Best at following orders, any orders and not thinking for yourself. If I was the best at that I think i’d rather JOIN THE ARMY because IT’S LIKE XBOX ONLY YOU DIE!

  4. Terrence Webster-Doyle

    A poem out of the book Operation War Hawks – How Young People Become Warriors (www.youthpeaceliteracy.org)

    To a Dead Soldier
    This is what happens
    When you let a numskull run your country.
    You should have known better
    Than to vote for him.
    But hey, I guess you always were a numskull, too.
    Now look where it got you.
    You died in a sandpit
    Somewhere in the desert.
    Now you just hang in limbo
    And watch as life goes on all around you.
    But it truly wasn’t your fault, you know.
    You had no choice in the matter.
    You were conditioned from the day you were born
    To do their bidding,
    Conditioned to hate and fear the “enemy”
    Whom you have never seen or spoken to,
    But have been taught to hate all your life.
    That is what went wrong.
    There was nothing you could have done.
    You were tricked into believing you were right.
    Your thoughts were programmed from the start.
    From day one you were taught what to do,
    What to say, how to think and feel.
    They taught you who to hate and who to serve. And you played right along.
    You even believed.
    And now you have broken away from their chains,
    Now you can see the light…
    All too clearly and much too late.
    —Stirling Dew , 17 years old

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