Following the latest tragic loss of life in Afghanistan, I thought it was appropriate to publish a recent poem that appeared in the Royal Logistic Corps' journal called The Sustainer. The poem is by Patrick Campbell and is called Operation KIPLING.
They flew me 'ome from BASTION with a bullet in me chest.
Cos they've closed the Army 'ospitals, so now I'm NHS.
That nurse, she ain't no Britisher an' I know she ain't impressed
It's like I'm some bloody 'ooligan, who's come off second best.
Yes, it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, and "You're not welcome 'ere".
But when Saddam was collar'd, they was quick to cheer.
They're proud when Tommy Atkins 'olds the thin red line out there,
But now he's wounded back at 'ome, he has to wait for care.
Some stranger in the next bed sez, " Don't you feel no shame?.
You kill my Muslim brothers, man! So it’s me, not 'ims, to blame!
An' then the cleaner ups and sez " What you fightin' for?
It ain't for Queen and country 'cos it's Bush's bloody war!"
It's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, what's that smell?".
But it's "God go with you, Tommy," when they fly us out to 'ell.
O then we're just like 'eroes from the Army's glorious past.
Yes, it's "God go with you, Tommy," when the trip might be your last
They pay us skivvy wages, never mind we're sitting ducks.
When clerks what's pushing pens at 'ome don't know their flippin' luck.
" Ah, yes" sez they, " but think of all the travel that yo' ad."
Since when did Thomas Cook do 'olidays in Baghdad?
So it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, know your place,"
But it's “Tommy go in front,” when there’s terrorists to chase.
An’ the town is full of IEDs that’ll blow you up tout sweet
Then, it’s “Sorry, Mr Atkins,” when they find you in the street.
That Gordon Brown’s s’pposed to ‘ave a ‘convenant’, to treat us fair an’square.
But I ‘ad to buy me army boots, an’me combats is threadbare.
An’ alf the bloody choppers can’t get into the air.
An’ me rifle jammed when the snipers fired. That’s why I’m laid up ‘re.
Oh, it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, “We ‘ave to watch the pence.”
But bold as brass the PM sighs, "We spare them no expense."
But let me tell you when they do us "really" proud - an' pull out all the stops.
It's when Tommy lands at Lyneham, in a polished wooden box!
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