OPERATION BANNER, THE FORGOTTEN ARMY

OPERATION BANNER, THOUGHT TO BE LONG OVER, IS BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE

I read the following article on facebook, and felt that it needed to be read by as many people as possible.

Operation Banner was the title of the insertion of British Troops into Northern Ireland, during the ‘Northern Ireland Troubles’ which most servicemen and women were drawn into from the 1960’s until the troops were pulled out over four decades later.

The article, written by Winker Watts gives a good description of what happened, the thoughts of the soldiers themselves, and how those troops are now being betrayed by those who sent them there.

Here it is:

Op Banner
Has Op Banner been forgotten, or is it just me, It was the longest conflict, in modern History
1969 to 2007, for 38 years it caused pain and sorrow, It took many lives, they had no tomorrow
The Army were there, from the start to the end, a thankless task, the divides we could not mend
Londonderry, Armagh, Ballykinler and Belfast, we stood tall and proud, we stood steadfast
It mattered not when you went, the cause was the same, to stop death and pain, it was never a game
The training was tough, the messing about was got rid, we all learnt a lot, from that village in Llyd
The ranges all varied but each one was designed, to educate your senses and to train your mind
When the targets came up, you then had to decide, is it a terrorist or a child on a ride
No sleep, constant shootings, bombings galore, the training intense, demanding and more
Urban or Rural, we all trained to do well, the tour was looming and it could be hell
The training then over, to Northern Ireland we deployed, Family left behind, the tears they could not hide
Kiss your loved ones goodbye and take a good look, if you see them again is it judgement or just luck
You arrive in NI and it soon becomes real, you need to be calm and have nerves of steel
The first patrol is always the most daunting, if you served before, the memories will come haunting
You hard target out the gates, expecting you might be dead, it takes time to work out, it was all in your head
We didn’t understand politics or why so much hate, you just want to survive and look after your mate
We went there to serve and to prevent loss of life, the Army was resolute, throughout trouble and strife
You could never relax, your nerves were always tested, for the whole of the tour, you never truly rested
Remember the bin lids or whistles as you went, to warn the IRA the message was sent
Kids on every corner, watching everything we did, the abuse and the hatred, that was never well hid
What kind of religion, would want another man dead, for what he believed in, or what he had said
Remember the riots, the petrol bombs and the din, how quickly they started, the bombs in the bin
Saracen or snatch, helis or by van, we deployed almost daily, every Soldier and man
The bombs were all mindless, their targets were all, they killed young and old, and children so small
The IRA were just cowards, who always bided their time, they killed without justice, or reason and rhyme
Our conditions were squalid, the bases were bad, comfort and sleep, were not to be had
They tell me its over, the troubles can wait, I don’t believe them, I have seen all the hate
A lot of good Soldiers, were killed at the start, we remember them still, we are never apart
The death toll kept rising, it went into hundreds later, their sacrifices, could not have been greater
We remember our heroes, we remember our dead, they wont be forgotten, they live on in our head
Their widows and children, though in grief and pain, I hope they find comfort, they died not in vain
The Army played their part, we were the best, in every aspect, we were better than the rest
Our Forces might have shrunk, much to the Government’s shame, but they can never get rid of our glorious name
If you served with us there, you should be filled with pride, we made a real difference, stood tall and did not hide
This poem is a reminder that, although the outcome is a mystery, the Army earned their place, in Op Banner history.
We have now been betrayed, the Government sold us out, Terrorists are MP,s , our Government need a clout
Without any rhyme or reason, they hang us out to dry, they should be charged with treason, we ask them now why?
We did our jobs well, it was never a game, I hope the Government, hangs their heads in shame
Winker Watts

Image may contain: one or more people
A note from Mr Bloggy:
Thanks Winker. This poem will awaken many memories to many people still being betrayed by the Government they loyally served.

 

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