William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

WHEELCHAIR SOLDIER

He proudly wore his blue beret
as he walked across the sand
his thoughts were of Canada far away
from this bleak and war torn land.

He could have stayed away from here
away from this place of harm
he could have stayed in Veggreville
and worked his father’s farm.

He volunteered, he chose to serve
he wanted to prove that he had nerve
an airborne soldier he would be
a HALO jumper falling fee.

His posting overseas came through
He changed berets from maroon to blue
and everything was going fine
until he stepped upon a mine.

At NDMC they were good to him;
made him a leg and taught him to swim;
gave him a medal, A UN “gong” and
told him he could no longer soldier on.

His heart was heavy – filled with despair
as he wheeled himself to Chapel in a chair
he had come home – less a leg – to his wife
buddy – behind him – had lost his life.

Dear Mr. Willbond,

Fitzhenry & Whiteside is publishing a Canadian History textbook for Grade 10 students this spring, and the authors would like to include you “Wheelchair Soldier” poem. Your email was passed to me by Doug Baldwin.

What we need is permission to reprint this poem, as well as a credit line. Can you help?

Thanks very much,

Morgan Grady-Smith
Promotions & Marketing Coordinator
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
morgan@fitzhenry.ca

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 10:39 AM

Fitzhenry & Whiteside Publishing

Sir,

Please feel free to use and reprint the (Canadian Soldier poem): “Wheelchair Soldier” in your Canadian Grade 10 History Book!

Billy Willbond is a retired Senior NCO who served both as a peacekeeping soldier and as a member of the now disbanded Canadian Airborne Regiment. He retired from the Regular Army in 1978 after serving Queen and Country for 20 years. A lifelong writer of Canadian Poetry he often writes poems in the Quebec Irish French Patois of his youth. Billy and his wife Lynne reside in Saanichton British Columbia where they run an International Charity called ICROSS CANADA – The International Community for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering.

William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD
Wednesday, March 29, 2006 5:00 PM