Days Of Green

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
     and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
     and he will make your paths straight.

“Days Of Green”

3 in the morning,
High kneeling,
Too many days of green

Too tired to have feelings
Called to a meeting
In the middle of the RV
Yet to attack, the rucksack has already
Claimed a company of causalities

I meet my OC,
Groundsheet over our heads
Torchlight with no filter,
Illuminating the white staff aids
From here, we will break-in
And upon:
Line green, yellow and red
I looked into my OC’s eyes
And nod my head

300 daybreaks later,
On the day of white and red
I looked into the same eyes
Now teary, as he said:

“Some men do it for their country,
This is the weakest motivation,
Most easy to break,

Some for their family,
People of closer relations,
Lives, the enemy tries to take

Some do it for their buddy,
Their other pair of load-bearing,
Muddy legs

While few do it for their values,
Instilled, and inspired by the spirit
Of immense courage”

“Men of fifth and sixth,
Head on, you have tackled and performed
On the biggest stage
The biggest battles that could only be engaged
By the nation’s best
You are the finest soldiers,
As proven by every test”

When you first entered,
It must have been daunting at first
You must have heard stories from your seniors

When you found yourself in greenwood,
You must have cursed,
One stray step of a boot and you could be immersed
Into chest-deep mud
Every man would know in that moment
That he was fucked

When it seemed that it was all over,
It occurred to me, that it had just begun
This was step one, of many
Your 72km route march was barely done,
You still had mountains for big E in Taiwan

Too many days of green
High kneeling at the 3 O’Clock
of Patrol Base hell
But there’s no bell to ring
I have to keep going, keep persevering
Keep plunging my face into gooey decayed matter,
Known as mud
And hope that my Detachment can start doing better
So we can start getting some sleep

4 days, my boots have yet to leave my feet
I smell like shit
SBO completely and permanently on
Just keep admitting that you’re wrong
Don’t prolong the casevac
We have yet to even get to our bags
And already:
1 casualty on the stretcher
Another on the cover litter
3 leopard crawling
2 fireman carrying
The night is just but beginning.
How far will the instructors push us,
Knowing we are just human beings?

Now I recall the time before I turned green
I looked up to the sky
In Hendon, above the outlining
Of trees, where the stiletto lies between
I was seated there at the parade square
Here for my VA
One of my happiest days
For I knew it was then possible for me
To earn the red beret

And I recall looking at the same sky,
At night, on Tekong island, looking at the planes fly
Between the stars
I wished I could be on those planes,
Looking down on my location
And only seeing a black forsaken corner of this nation
I wish I could be on board
Heading towards my vacation destination
And not with camo on, going through the motion
Let’s get done with these contact drill stations

I want to feel the warmth of my bed
Enough of the green
Enough of the blisters on my feet,
Enough aches on my legs

I closed my eyes
And rest my head
To prepare myself for what’s coming ahead

An instructor shines his torch into the tonner,
I wake
I take time to acknowledge,
His voice, and the state, I was in
The boys had left me asleep in that tonner
And that realisation, set the sinking feeling in

Another instructor states:
“you better wake up, Ryan”
My blood goes into a rage,
I had been awake, putting my body at stake
For this platoon
Now, so soon, the moment I make a mistake
Which is not my own
You push all blame on me,
Simply because I was alone?

My section instructor
Summons me to the front,
Something I didn’t want
I was trying to hide my reaction
I was painting my face
To cover up my tears from the section

I had failed
I had lost my blank attachment

As I walk by,
I think my platoon knows that I … ,
But they make no commotion
I high kneel in front of my …
Instructor, who proceeds to move my head in a circular motion

I had failed…

High kneeling, days of green
Feeling down, face to the ground
Chin on my chest
But I will carry on,
Carry on doing my best

For my country
My family, my buddy
And the values dear to me,
I will carry on
For this was the day, 2LT Ryan would be born

Once born, we will live on,
And go on to assault other objectives in our lives
This green experience will not be relegated to the archives
Instead, the values that have been imbued will come alive
As green turns pink

Believe that when you set your mind to something,
You can bring commitment and discipline
To the table
And you will be able to conquer anything
As you lead your life,
Served by your days of green

And still you wondered, if at all,
it was worth serving and giving the nation your all





Some pictures from the day of red and white:

8 years of brotherhood
The main man himself, OC6
No parade is complete without my parents

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