William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

OUR SEVERELY WOUNDED

Head proudly up, chest out, he smartly marched off to war –
That fit, confident young warrior that Canadians all adore.
The colostomy bag and catheter will need someone always there.
Shattered crushed pelvis, loss of scrotum, both need constant care.

Hope for a possible recovery is unknown and the future seems bleak:
A terrible feeling of being trapped in bandages, bedridden and weak.
It’s lonely in that prison of a bed, 3 limbs gone, his buddies are dead –
Living with protruding plastic hoses, healing prayers are being said.

A great sacrifice was given to our Country Canada. Is our Nation grateful?
Traitors like Canadian Omar Khadr made IEDs for this mission, so hateful.
Omar sits, down in Gitmo in his comfortable cell, watching news on CNN.
He should be made to look upon the terror works that he did back then.

Playing the young-offender heart-string card, in order to get out on parole,
Will Omar teach the making of IEDs in his new sleeper cell leadership role?
Many other young Canadians in Afghanistan were severely wounded too.
Some with no visible wounds now have their OSI problems show through.

Look upon this shattered shell of a man who came home on an Army cot.
Shelved in a critical long-term care hospital, it’s more likely than not?
Thank you Veterans Affairs Canada for amending the new veterans’ charter.
You know it is not fair to our wounded and isn’t their welfare, what matters?

Author’s Note: This chalk-and-charcoal (on paper) drawing by Canadian War Artist Gertrude Kearns inspired this poem. This stark, worst case reality scenario, screams about sacrifice. It jumps up off the page and shows the results of IEDs made by young terrorists like Canadian Omar Khadr, who continues to play the young offender’s card whilst seeking parole. The question arises: Now that the Afghanistan war mission has been terminated by Canada, how soon will our severely wounded be forgotten and shelved in a long-term care facility? This graphic drawing is a reminder to all of us that our wounded people all need Veterans Affairs Canada to pay special attention to all victims of this war, our physically and mentally wounded need Canada and Canadians to continue to care. Because of this depiction, one might keep the haunting image of our severely wounded in mind whilst saying nightly prayers.

©Copyright 2011 by Canadian War Artist Gertrude Kearns
©Copyright 2011 by Canadian War Artist Gertrude Kearns

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Well known war artist Trudy Kearns has a couple of pieces of her works hanging in the Canadian War Museum and this soldier poet has in the past, been critical of her subject works. We have become friends. She is quite famous for her drawings of the Modern Leader Warriors: MacKenzie, Dallaire, Stogran, and Fraser to name only a few.

In some of her works she graphically captures the 10-mile stare on the strained and wrinkled faces of our front line Warrior Leaders. Regimental Associations might wish to acquire signed and numbered copies of these works for their Headquarters Officers’ Mess wardrooms and the walls of honour?

The Artist calls this attached work – SAVED: FOR WHAT? Reminding me of the 1st World War severely wounded by gas and shrapnel soldiers who still lay, some like vegetables, in the Iron Lungs at the Colonel Belcher Military Hospital in Calgary in the fifties when I was a young soldier. Some were in tubs as their skin was destroyed.