I Wore the Brown.

Posted: 02/05/2010 in Uncategorized
Reading AN UNPOPULAR WAR From afkak to bosbefok by JH Thompson (www.zeprapress.co.za/) was avery emotional experience for me. As I turned the pages, I found my self back in Heidelberg do my basics and training as a radio radio operator. The memories came flooding back. I could hear the instructors as they insulted us, and pushed us to the point of exhaustion. I could feel the bitterly cold winter mornings in the Transvaal. I r member the Tannies would come out to the shooting range and bring us Kooksusters, so we could pretend to be civilised even, if only for a minute. I remember the Afrikaans Corporal at Johannesburg station who hade me, “if I had shaved tomorrow?” (Het ek geskeer van more?)
Ok, it was not all bad, for most of us Basics taught us to work together, we learnt the skill that would protect us against the enemy. But there were others who suffered at the hands of uneducated thugs. If you were gay you kept it to yourself. I only remember one gay soldier and only because he was a bit of a Queen. He did not belong in the army, but he was White and over the age of 18, so the law said he had to be there. He was lucky, the Domanie stepped in and arranged that he be discarded. No was that he would have survived in such a cruel and hash environment.
It is amazing the amount of crap you can handle when you are 18. The shit we had to put up with, still amazes me. But we pulled together as a team. When someone fell behind, we carried him. The night beofre inspection, the whole barrack would get together and polish the floors.
It was the law so we went. I did it because I believed in South Africa, and knew whatever problems we had, we would find our own solutions.
Do I regret it – No!

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