#WATWB November Serving after Service

Photo: Canberra Times.

Welcome to We Are The World #WATWB for November. Our generous co-hosts are Andrea Michaels, Damyanti Biswas, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Susan Scott and Sylvia Stein. Please visit their blogs too.


We all know people who have served our respective countries in Military Service. My post for this month is about how some of them continue with their life after serving. A Veterans Employment Program, started in 2016, is helping former Military personnel to thrive in civilian life.

By following the link you will get to meet Drew Twigg.

Snowy Hydro Murray region area manager Drew Twigg left the military about 10 years ago to pursue a corporate career. He interviewed for the job via satellite phone from his post in Afghanistan, where he was part of the elite Special Air Services team.

He now lives with his young family in Khancoban, a small town about four hours south-west of Canberra. It’s a place he describes as a safe environment in the hills he loves.

As part of the Veterans Employment Coalition, Snowy Hydro is helping veterans make that transition. Mr Twigg is assisting with the technicalities.

“I now have this unique position that I can translate a lot of the military acronyms,” he said.

There is also a story about Kelly Walter. As the Canberra Times continues:

It can be quite daunting to figure out what you want to be in the real world, Mornington Peninsula mother-of-two Kelly Walter says.

After spending 13 years in the navy as a maritime logistics officer, it was during her second pregnancy that Kelly decided to transition into something else to spend more time at home with her children.

In 2014 she started her own small business selling a range of planning boards, initially something she needed in her own home to keep track of her family’s busy schedule. The business name, Daily Orders, a nod to her time in the military.

Kelly says any assistance transitioning out of Defence would be gratefully received by people like her.

“To be able to recognise that a veteran is nowadays not just a man you might meet at the RSL who served in the Vietnam War.

“It’s people like me, women in their mid-30s who are mothers, fathers in their 20s. It’s a whole range.”

There are more stories in the article.

Photo: Canberra Times

This post features those who, having acquired trade skills or university degrees in the Military, are able to transition into civilian career paths. We also remember those who have served, but did not receive a trade or degree, and we hope that they find a new life after Military service.

As November is a month of remembrance I have chosen a poem more suitable to such a cause. Whilst it refers to England, many other peoples have found solace in its verses.

“For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children
England mourns for her dead across the sea,
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow,
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again,
They sit no more at familiar tables of home,
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime,
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires and hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the night.

As the stars shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon

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Would you like to join this #WATWB Blogfest?

Once again, here are the guidelines for #WATWB:

1. Keep your post to Below 500 words, as much as possible.

2. Link to a human news story on your blog, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. The Link is important, because it actually makes us look through news to find the positive ones to post.

3. No story is too big or small, as long as it Goes Beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so, this is just a gentle reminder for the others.

5. Help us spread the word on social media. Feel free to tweet, share using the #WATWB hastag to help us trend!

Tweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. We’ll try and follow and share all those who post on the #WATWB hashtag, and we encourage you to do the same.Have your followers click Here to enter their link and join us! Bigger the #WATWB group each month, more the joy!


Some Who Share Writers

This is just a brief shout-out to those, whom I’ve encountered, who share writers.

Some enjoy the sharing of stories on The Forge, @forge_litmag. Others are drawn into Narrative, @NarrativeMag with its sharing of stories and poems. Yet others fall into Spillwords, @Spill_Words, such as the example given here from Beth Tremaglio.

Have you enjoyed interacting who those who share the words of writers?


If you are interested in the sharing of everyday stories of good will, stay tuned for the We Are The World Blogfest. Follow the hashtag #WATWB

Slow Walk In The Sun

Slow Walk in the Sun

Slow walk

In the sun.

How simple pleasures

Can be

Such fun.

Basking in the radiance

Of the sun dance

After a day of rain.

It’s time to chance

The breeze in the trees

Sounds that please

An attuned ear.

We hear:

Panting of dogs

Cyclists passing logs

Children at play

On a zephyr teased day.

After the showers

The storms in the hours

Of previous days

As birds gently laze

On the pond

At wetlands

The sun on their plumes

In these days of spring blooms.

Simon C.J. Falk 19 November 2017

More We Are The World #WATWB coming soon. Stay tuned!

Discovering Poets – Vassar Miller

While in my current ‘in-between’ phase of life, I’ve also had an opportunity to be on an annual retreat. The ‘hand-outs’ each day have included quotes. To my delight, they have also included poets, such as E.E. Cummings and Francis Thompson. Today we were treated to a poet previously unknown to me: Vassar Miller. Miller was from Texas and died in 1998. But her poems remain, such as the one given us on retreat this day. The context of this poem being offered today was a talk on naming God and naming us. It explored how giving a name helps describe a person, yet, it can also point to limits, to the fact that we are still a mystery becoming who we really are. Our name describes us in some way, but there is so much more to us than can be summed up in our name.

It is wonderful to discover writers that we did not know existed. I hope that some of you who are reading this will experience some of that joy of discovery in your lives.

Another poet,

Another voice,

Another one

Expressing choice,

Of the deft selection,

In images to share,

Of words that challenge,

Of words that care.

Simon C.J. Falk 14 November 2017

Looking for some other stories? Put the hashtag #WATWB into your searches on social media

Gazing Eyes of Experience

Gazing Eyes of Experience

Eyes gazed

Into the mirror of

What these days

Have meant.

Energy spent

And expended.

So easily gone.

Eyes crazed

Into the fears

In many ways

Eating at

The grief of what

Cannot be done.

Or, of what will


Of the future.

Eyes glazed

As words are read

On the screen.

Words of love and care.

Words there

In the gaze.

The best glance

By eyes

That gazed.

Simon C.J. Falk 10 November 2017

Sick Man’s Stroll: A Kind of Rehabilitation




Sick Man’s Stroll: A Kind of Rehabilitation

Sick man’s stroll

Variations of

An ambling gait

And a staggering shuffle.

The slow stroll

Moves along

Like a metronome

On easy tempo


Bringing breath

And circulation into

A kind of rhythm

But oh,

To cross the road,

Turtles could pass by

As try, we do

To gather a little more pace

Into the race

To the pedestrian island.

All that is now needed

Is a dowdy hat

And a shabby old cardigan

With turned up cuffs,

Buff or beige,

And with pockets

All sagged from

Hands, hankies and

Whatever else,

With traces of lunch

Lurking between the lint

On its surface.

And we amble on

Willing the legs

To return home

To their former vigour.

Can we handle the rigour?

Of this new metered life?

Calculated, paced, slowed

Oh, who knows

Where this stroll

Will go?

What of tomorrow?

Forecast of a shower,

Some shuffles between

The sleep.

You know what I mean?

The slow creep

Of the stroll to rehabilitation.

Simon C.J. Falk 10 November 2017

You Are Where Your Mind Wanders

You Are Where Your Mind Wanders


In a peaceful garden

Soundings of


Enter in

Interjected intermittently

By automobiles

Rolling on by

Under a warming blue


But, the inner eye is


Harbouring another care.


You are

Where your mind wanders

Where your heart ponders,

Regardless of the place

Occupied by your face.


Be still

Allow the sound to fill

You, with present concerns

Here and now.

Furrow not your brow

In troubles elsewhere

You cannot be there.

Let the scampering ants

Scarper away your troubles

And chance

Yourself here

Mind and heart clear.


In a peaceful garden

Breathing free within

Allowing solar rays

To fall upon the skin

And sounds of birds on ear

Just hear


Simon C.J. Falk 2 November 2017

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