When I packed up my troubles in my old kit bag so many years after leaving the military I really cut all ties with it for many years. There was nobody who understood what I had gone though and frankly most civvies did’t really care. We had done our 2 years and were now really cast into limbo.
Things changed many years ago after hearing a piece about PTSD and I then wrote down a long rambling account of my military service. It eventually appeared on my website and parts of it still exist on my blog
Wind forward to August 2009; and I was invited to attend the Border Boys Parade at the Gunners and Engineers Memorial (GEM) Village, Irene. In memory of the Soldiers, Airmen. Medics and Seamen who lost their lives during the Border War.
The parade was hosted by the Casa Mia Shellhole, and the guest speaker was General Jannie Geldenhuys who spoke about the importance of the border war in the context of the cold war, and how important our role was in this period of history.
Nine veterans represented the 61 Mech Veterans Association, and proudly on display was the 61 Mech Bn Group banner.
This was the first such parade I had ever attended, and I was saddened to see the generations of soldiers who all stood together to remember those who have never grown old.
A single Harvard flew overhead, the last post was played and we all gave the salute to those who we have never forgotten.
GEM village has quite a few bits of militaria hanging around too, and they were very interesting. My personal favourite has to be this
A peek at the breech revealed more about it.
And then there are these oldies:
The last weapon is actually inscribed “A tribute to Smuts War Veterans Foundation by the Gunners Association Of South Africa.”
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