Sounds of Distant Drums

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ODE TO THE RLI TROOPIE.

Muscle hardened flesh frames his heart of bronze.
Rugged in the uniqueness of the uniform he dons,
Shorts, shirt, and full pouches of ‘seven six two’ ammo;
Tanned skin blending with his denim combat cammo,

No more army boots, only veldskoen brown suede shoes,
Not even shirt sleeves, nor socks that he might lose.
This young hardened warrior vows to travel light.
Following enemy tracks, from sun up to ink of night.

Committed young soldier, with a love he would not sell
Rhodesia would be fought for, to the very gates of Hell
Alone and ever vigilant he stands, pensive and alert,
So lifelike you can almost smell the sweat upon his shirt

The sweat that saw a myriad contacts on his and foreign soil
Parachuted into Mozambique as the cauldron starts to boil.
Trained in urban warfare, honed his deadly combat skill.
Young ‘Jack Russell’ predator, passionate for the kill,

Calloused hands grip the barrel of his spotless automatic
His companion in a bloody war, so brutal and so tragic.
Young boys with lion hearts who truly were incredible
They wrote the history of our nation with ink indelible

Unequaled in the realms of soldiers; of this day and of yore;
When the Saints go marching in; Rhodesia’s Saints of war,
And the roll is called up yonder; trumpet calls the unafraid,
The RLI will meet again… at God’s final pay parade.

Written by Alf Hutchison

 


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