Leave Your Boots at the Door

Young and ambitious you signed up your name
ready to fight, it’s all part of the game.
Packing your things, it’s time to move
away from your family with something to prove.

Start at the bottom and work your way up
Canadian flag and NATO on your coffee cup.
You ran and you worked and you put in your years
hiding from family your stress and your fears.

Your boots stomped on snow, then mud, and then sand
your brothers in action, lives in your hands.
Crossing off calendar squares, day after day
both loving and hating that you were away.

Now that your contract is nearing an end
you file some paperwork, try to extend.
This thing that you started is who you are
ingrained in you now, just like a scar.

Your body is tired, your mind is awry
can’t imagine civilian life, hard as you try.
The countdown starts, “Congrats!” they all say
you keep trudging on, dreading the day.

And now your comrades, your family, your friends
stand by your side as this old chapter ends.

A whole world awaits you, there will always be more
the next challenge waits, leave your boots at the door.




This poem is dedicated to Ret. WO Jack Weir and Ret. CAPT Andre Bouchard. Your years of service to the Canadian Armed Forces are an incredible accomplishment. Your dedication in continuing to work with the CF in your respective retirements is a testament to your character and commitment. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do, for your family, your brothers & sisters, and your country. 

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