William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD


Failure is a part of life that very often follows prolonged strife
Many marriages fail, it’s true – a man oft thinks of “me” not “you”
Thank you Lynne for being there when Army life it seemed unfair
And for your love and loyalty when I served so far across the sea

I realize it was hard on you to move from each Post and each PMQ
With four small children all in tow, to Camp Petawawa you did go
School a trek through deep white snow-winter long-spring came slow
In Edmonton, as an Airborne Wife, it was often a very lonely life

We did our twenty, you and me, and then the Army set us free
Barrack boxes on the car roof rack with kitbags and a full rucksack
We hit the road, at last we were free, to head on back to beautiful BC
hard times came, a bit of dissention – it’s hard to live on an Army Pension!

You did not fail, you were loyal to me, you worked for the Chintz & Company
And at night, you went back to school, got several degrees, you were no fool
Worked as an Accountant for the Government, then off to Nursing School you went,
The kids are grown and on their own, it’s you and me, at last, home alone!!

    William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD: Ode to an Army Wife
    Mary Lynne Willbond sitting at the kitchen table when we lived in Brentwood Bay and were putting the kids through university and college. She still works as a Registered Nurse and looks after me almost full time.
  • PMQs – permanent married quarters
  • Post – CFB Petawawa (where I was Op Sgt for the SSF) or CFB Edmonton (where I was Op Sgt for the Cdn AB Regt)
  • CFB – Canadian Forces Base
  • Op Sgt – Operations Sergeant
  • SSF – Special Service Force
  • Cdn AB Regt – Canadian Airborne Regiment

Author’s Note: Mary Lynne Willbond (ex Army Wife) is the Recent Recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award for her voluntary work with the poorest of the poor and the HIV Aids Orphans in East Africa. Lynne is one of the original African Comfort Doll knitters. The trend is now global. She married the writer of this poem (Billy) when she was only 19. Four children and six grandchildren later she still puts up with this old veteran.

Submitted for the June 2004 and July 2004 IWVPA Club Theme Projects, “Failure” and “Loyalty” respectively