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 ramblings and things


Just a quick notification that
A new resident was on his way
Giving  us enough time to get
A room ready for him to stay
Not our usual type of client
A Veteran French Legionnaire
It was beyond my pay grade
To know how he'd ended there.

He was going through a crisis
In his domestic civilian life
Needed a break away from
His family and his wife.
The Veteran Brotherhood
Had taken care of it
Referred him on to us
For one of our bedsits.

He'd woken up in hospital
Physically sound and whole
The only surviving member
Of an ambushed recce patrol
With no recollection of how
He'd ended up there,
Or the three days lost that
He'd spent under care.

Discharged back to Blighty
Survivor guilt to the fore
PTSD setting in he just
Couldn't  take anymore.
All this had happened
A good few years ago
But Traumatic Stress Disorder
Can take many years to show.

He stayed just a few months
And, not telling us why
He went back to his wife
Where he'd chosen to die.
Just days before he passed
I was surprised to hear his voice
When he rang me to tell me
Why he made that choice.

Said with Chronic lung disease
He was very near his end
And he wanted to thank me
For being both helper and friend.  
Shocked and distraught not
Knowing what to say or do
I let Forces  black humour
Help carry us through.

The Brotherhood is International
A mixed and disparate lot
So many times it's the sad case
Each other is all we've got.
Booted and suited by his box
We all took time to think
Drank a toast to his memory, left
Untouched the absent friend's drink.

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