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All Alone

WHY did I come home?
From the Vietnam War
Only to have loneliness
Knocking at my door

I flew over with a few mates
But I was really on my own
And when it came to coming back
On the flight home I was again alone

I spent many years in the Army
After returning from Vietnam
But of all the people that I met
I've seen enough to count on one hand

I often fell like ending it
And pulling out the fuse
But that's when I feel all alone
Both bitter and confused

QUITE often I ask the good Lord
Why did you let me live
But there never is an answer
As to why he ever did

I often feel like a loner
And very often don't belong
Especially among other Vets
Who often seem quite strong?

Most of the Vets are Infanteers
Who were a very close knit team
Because mostly they were walking
And trying hard not to be seen

BUT I was a member of the Cavalry
That made a lot of noise
And when it came to close knit mates
I was really just one of the boys

YOU would go and do your tour
At very different times
And it was most unlikely
To be with the same crew mate all of the time

SOMETIMES you got wounded
But most were lucky to escape
From the rockets and the missiles
And the damage that a land mine would make

SO if you were unlucky
Not to have escaped the war
It's very easy to understand
Why you feel so sorry and sore

BUT all I have is the memory
Of being blown up
And I guess that's what makes me different
From the Vets that kept their luck

BUT it doesn't help the feelings
That I go through day after day
Of the knowledge that I came home
But the memories won't go away

AND that's when I wonder
Why I had to come home
And live with all the memories
It's no wonder I feel all alone

Copyright 2002  Phil Kadow.

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All They Ask

THERE are disabled veterans
As far as the eye can see
Who are still paying the price
So all Australians can be free

BUT now the time has come
To tally up the cost
So that their DIGNITY
Doesn't ever become lost

THEY gave their all for their country
Without counting up the cost
Only to find out their country
Doesn't give a toss

THE government and the public seem to think
That they did what they were trained for
But they don't understand that when you've been there
It stays with you for life

ONCE the war is over
Your troubles don't go away
They stay with you forever
Quite often getting in the way

ALL these veterans ask for
Is a proper quality of life
One that lets them keep going
Without getting them into strife

YOU can't place a monetary value
On what these veterans did
But it would be nice if the government
Stopped eroding the quid

THEY are not a lot of bludges
Wandering aimlessly through life
All they are after
Is for the government to do what's right

GIVE them a FAIR GO
Is all that each one asks
So they can keep on going
Right up until the last

THAT'S the day they answer the call
Of the Almighty up above
And meet up with their Mates
The ones they fought with and loved

Copyright 2003.  Phil Kadow.

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A Little Piece of Me.

I joined the regular Army in Adelaide
Just before I turned nineteen
And if my memory serves me well
Being young, I was also very keen

My next stop was Kapooka
Where they trained me very hard
And measured my performance
With every objective and every yard

The Corporals were little Hitlers
The Sergeants were the Hun
And when it came to training
They had me on the run

When all my training was complete
And I marched out proud and tall
They then put me on a bus
That was headed for Puckapunyal

The Armoured Centre was now my home
Where Corps training began in earnest
And by the time my first six weeks were up
I'd been taught how to operate all types of wireless

The second phase of my training began
After Christmas once I got back
And that part consisted of gunnery as well as
The driving and servicing of tracks

I was on the driving circuit
Getting familiar with the vehicle
When the instructor Corporal Vearing said
It was my turn in the cycle

I pulled the steering lever to go left
And the other to go right
But when I put my foot down
It gave me quite a fright

I was driving down a slope
At a speed just a little too fast
That when I reached the base of it
I'd given the rest of the lads a good laugh

The road turned sharply to the right
But I pulled the stick back just a little too hard
And that caused the back end to slide out
Covering many a dusty yard

By the time I straightened up the track
And finally gained control
I locked up the brakes and ended up
Knocking a fence post out of its hole

From that day came a nickname
Out of an event that was filled with laughter
A name I wore with pride and honour
Fearless Phil, the Flying Fence Fucker

Copyright 2001 Phil Kadow

=============================================
A Tale of Mine.

Our steeds were fed and watered
And the stores had all been packed
As we headed out in convoy
Just us and our trusty tracks

The engineers were waiting
With their dozers at the ready
We were off to do land clearing
In a place that we were fearing

The Long Hai Mountains were a stronghold
Where many lives had been lost
While trying to oust old Charlie
From where he didn't want to be got

Our job was of protection
While the dozers cleared the trail
But the enemy wasn't giving it up
Without us paying some sort of bail

It happened on a Monday
It was the 9th of March
When the dozer Brutus was out working
At a pace not very fast

Suddenly we heard a bang
And knew exactly what had happened
Brutus had set of a mine
Large enough for his spirits to be dampened

The Mini Team was all kitted out
To do their dangerous task
Which was to make it safe for us
From another deadly blast

To see what had happened
To the big beast made of steel
Brought home the realization
That this bloody war was real

Copyright 2001 Phil Kadow. 

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COMBAT FATIGUE

If you've never been in combat
You don't know what it's like
To always being in 'switched on' mode
That's known as 'Fight or Flight'
 
Even though you're in a section,
Troop, Platoon or Battalion
The pressure on you is so great
Especially when you're in action
 
Your reactions are instinctive
When ever the shit hits the fan
And you do what is required
It's the same with every man
 
You wouldn't let your mates down
No matter what the cost
Always giving them protection
Until they're 'Dusted Off'
 
But once the fight is over
And the enemy have fled
You can then sit down and wonder
Is this real or in your head?
 
Tomorrow's just another day
And no matter what it brings
You know that you are still alive
But you have no time to sing
 
After all, you are a combat soldier
And that you will always be
It's something that can't be taken away
Because it seems it was meant to be
 
The reactions of being in combat
Linger with you all of your life
Especially the horror things
That you just can't tell your wife
 
Your friends can't see the problems
That you live with every day
They seem to think your stupid
Because you act a different way
 
The things that seem to excite them
Are totally mundane to you
And that's when you tend to wonder
What has become of you?
 
Your life is one of caution
You are constantly looking around
For any signs of danger
That may make you 'Go to Ground'
 
The things that seem important
In this fast and furious world
Are enough to make you come over
Feeling very very cold
 
Quite often I think of dying
It seems the only answer to me
Because instead of these feelings
At least I would be free
 
But I know it sounds so selfish
Only thinking of myself
It stems from after battle
Not being given any help
 
So now we're just left alone
To fend and fight for one's self
For being alone is all there is
Because there seems to be nothing else
 
Copyright 2001 Phil Kadow.