28 September 2013

A Primer for Veterans

A Primer for Veterans

I’m sorry great soldier; you were lied to and fooled
When you enlisted and we told you the rules
We promised you value, we promised you care
We gave solemn promise to see to your affairs

We said if you worked hard, were loyal and true
If you served your country then we’d care for you
You had but to be strong and do as you should
Defending our nation and standing for good

If you gave good service, then you would be set
Good jobs awaiting for you to accept
Canadians would treasure one such as you
There’d be parades and honours and many thank-you’s

We’d all support you, should you get hurt
Sacrifice in service being the noblest of wounds
We’d carry you home and see to your care
If it be crutches or braces or a limb or a chair

By chance if your mind went, lost in the horrors
Of witnessing things no one should observe
Then we’d be here to catch you, to hug you, to cry
To get you whatever to takes to survive

Or if you are unlucky and pay the ultimate price
Be awarded the Last Post, make a noble sacrifice
Leaving behind children and parents and a spouse
And a great lousy void in their life and their house

We promise to fill that, as best we can
To care for your loved ones, to look after your Nan
To provide for your children, see them through school
And support your wife - or husband - like you’d do

We make all these promises, we give solemn oath
If you serve us all, then we will protect you
The great social contract, an agreement so strong
It will never be broken, not by bullet nor bomb

You just sign here and say these few words
And our nation will guard you, just like you’ve heard
For there’s nothing so noble as the troops’ sacrifice
Guarding the country from bumps in the night

Remember those you protect, as you stand in the rain
Or the snow or the sun, on the hills or the plains
On deck of a ship in freezing below
Or sitting in aircraft, staring out the window.

Away from your family, away from your dog
Away from your comforts and living high on the hog
No beers on Fridays, no Saturday games
No sleep-lates then breakfasts-in-bed, more’s the shame

You’ll go where you’re sent; you’ll do as you’re told
You’ll hold your tongue and don’t be so bold
For service is obedience, it goes with the job
The rights you’re protecting ain’t yours, you poor slob

But be a good soldier or airman or sailor
Do your job well and earn what we pays ya
Or be a true Mountie and maintain the right
Even when we curse you for tickets at lights

Do all of that and we’ll do our bit
We’ll see to your needs when you’re no longer fit
To serve us all, it’ll be all so right
When it’s our turn to offer comfort at night

With pensions and schooling and job grants and aid
You’ll have so much support, why, you’ll have it made!
We honour our veterans; we support our troops
‘Course we’ll provide when you get cut loose!

You all believed us, you believed all those words
Who’d lie to a soldier or Mountie but a turd?
The Queen and the Maple Leaf, a promise so proud
A golden contract, a sacred vow

You poor, poor fools! We had no intention
Of keeping that contract, so don’t even mention
We can’t believe you believed US! How foolish you are!
We sat at home and sent you afar!

To work until broken, in body and mind
And crushed in spirit, and you all were blind
To our crossed fingers, to our dirty deals
When we couldn’t give you bullets or decent meals,
What made you think we had pensions waiting?
That wasn’t a contract; it was just fool-baiting.

We bilked you for service. We exploited your oath.
We took all you had and just left you with hope.
A hope so futile that we can’t believe
You still think we can fill it. Why, we’re nuttin but t’eives!

We stole your best years, your futures, your lives
Ripped you from children and husbands and wives
Gave you low pay and little more
And when you were broken, we gave you the door

Now you want something from us? You’ll see what you get.
Your job-skills are useless in the private set
We don’t want to hear ‘bout your stories of war
We put ribbons on our cars, you want something more?

Prove that we owe you, go ahead, and just try
We’ll fight you in court til the day that you die
That sacred contract is not written in stone
And when you fight now, you fight us alone

You say you were promised, that you are not lying
Well that social contract? It’s not legally binding
It’s not in the big books of our legal code
And our vast legal team says we need not uphold

The promises made, for we are in charge
We can do what we want to the veterans at large
We don’t even have to pay one red cent
You cannot make us, we’re the government

So you go and sue us, and you get your ruling
By the time we pay out, you’ll be sitting and drooling
We have greater concerns that ones such as you
We have a great crop of fresh new recruits

All ready to sign up, to take the oath
They believe all our words, as they are spoke
They’ll do their duty like you did before
And when they return, all broken and sore

They’ll find even less support than you got
They’ll be left on the streets, to live there and rot
It’s cheaper that way, and cuts must be made
There’s a recession and we’ve bills to pay

But not to you folks, we owe you naught
You signed of your free will, you know what bought
Go read the fine print, with your arse in a sling
You know what we’ll pay you? Not one goddamn thing.

You took us at our word, more the fool you
Our word means nothing, so what can you do?
You can beg for our help, you might appeal to our pride
But don’t you get it? We won’t pay ‘cause WE LIED!


  1. This is the latest in a round of stupid, ill-thought out comments by this writer. The services and programs provided to Canada's Veterans are second to none anywhere on the planet.

  2. I have been diagnosed with PTSD due to in part to UN service in the seventies. The Canadian DVA is providing counselling, medications, pensions and support. This is contrary to the ranting above