Things we did not leave behind

(inspired by Selwyn’s remark that the men are as rowdy as ever and a thought catalog post)

In no uncertain terms it was evident to us
That the battalion was as rowdy as before
The frivolous playful-ers, the uncouth hangabout-ers,
All hark back to an 8 year-old era of pre-adultlegal young men,
Entrapped in a unreal insignificant world of National Service that ran in a parallel universe to what is internally referred to as Civilian. For only the military would need to term the de facto in a name other than normal.
In this world the consequences did not matter, the responsibilities futile and unwanted,
the awards similarly vapish and uninspiring.
Behind guarded gates and obscured fences,
Bravado is valued over civility,
Sacrifice is recognised over dedication.
With outside eyes we view those who choose to remain inside with a confounded mixture of disdain, bewilderment and revulsion.
Even in Hell we are in it together,
And in our collective repulsed spirit we unite against our common enemy.
8 years on, we recognise each other by name, if not by face. It is a large family that has grudgingly been grouped together, and is fairly closed off to outsiders now. Each man has their place. Even high or low positions don’t matter a bit now. Nobody wants any position, nobody cares more than that. More work doesn’t bring more satisfaction or more worthwhile recognition.
You can bet that they are efficient, much more than anyone else can imagine.
You can trust that they will pull each other out of any mud,
and collectively resist interference.
It is like a steel so repeatedly tempered that it is so tough
And also no longer changeable.
There is no longer anything left to learn,
Everything is just a simple routine.
Forget drills, forget discipline,
Forget also regimentation.
We have figured what is necessary,
Mapped out the minimum path to it,
And will not budge now.
There are some men we would not care to dwell on,
The harshness of brotherhoods can be unforgiving.
I don’t know.
There are some places where,
When you are going to step out the door,
You cast your eye around for a final memory,
And there are some you don’t.

Things we did not leave behind

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