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Poetry of Direct Personal Experience
Our Collection of Aviation and Military Poetry

I Was Only Nineteen

(A Walk In The Light Green)

Mum and Dad and Danny saw the passing

Out parade at Puckapunyal

It was a long march from cadets

The sixth battalion was the next to tour and it was me who drew the card

We did Canungra and Shoalwater before we left

And Townsville lined the footpaths

As we marched down to the quay

This clipping from the paper

Shows us young and strong and clean

And there's me in me slouch hat with me SLR and greens

God help me - I was only nineteen

From Vung Tau riding Chinooks to the dust at Nui Dat

I'd been in and out of choppers now for months

And we made our tents a home

V.B. and pinups on the lockers

And an Asian Orange sunset through the scrub

And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?

And night time's just a jungle dark and a barking M16?

And what's this rash that comes and goes

Can you tell me what it means?

God help me - I was only nineteen

A four week operation

When each step can mean your last one on two legs

It was a war within yourself

But you wouldn't let your mates down

'til they had you dusted off

So you closed your eyes and thought about somethin' else

And then someone yelled out "Contact"

And the bloke behind me swore

We hooked in there for hours

Then a God almighty roar

And Frankie kicked a mine

The day that mankind kicked the moon

God help me - he was goin' home in June

And I can still see Frankie

Drinkin' tinnies in the Grand Hotel

On a thirty-six hour rec. leave in Vung Tau

And I can still hear Frankie, lying screaming in the jungle

'Til the morphine came and killed the bloody row

And the ANZAC legends didn't mention mud and blood and tears

And the stories that my father told me never seemed quite real

I caught some pieces in my back that I didn't even feel

God help me - I was only nineteen

And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?

And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet?

And what's this rash that comes and goes

Can you tell me what it means?

God help me, I was only nineteen

Vietnam shot 1

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vietnam 4

vietnam 5

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 • Last Modified: 08 July 2019, 13:55