01 August 2007

M79 Grenades Are 40mm Rounds

No classic cause arose to elucidate the
tragedy and tho’ so easy to deduce
a case of boys as stupid boys this young
cadet was neither dumb nor lacking
commonsense – or so his records said.
Yet he banged explosive rounds he’d
found head to head to prove they were
inert. That’s what his classmates said.

Numb with shock when asked the cause –
odd that no-one saw him do the deed, all
heard the bang, saw bleeding stumps for
hands, his shattered head. That he died
as quickly as he did was Heaven sent; that
injuries were his alone a blessing guised
with sweet lament – scars to wear as
aching evidence of hearts so sorely rent.

M79 grenades are 40mm rounds which
kill efficiently, spread shrapnel round
a five metre lethal range. The deceased
cadet, a boy soldier trained but not yet
old enough for combat impacted two
unexploded rounds he found on a
live range together with his hands in
his barrack room. He died instantly.

The net effect of pointless death made
sway for changes in the way we trained
our boys for combat. Most far reaching
meant our soldier roles extracted from
conflict’s inexorableness – its patent,
deathly allegation, to a state we practised
every way to not permit a simple thought
or taste of it. I regret I still abjure the taste.
© 20 July 2007, I.D. Carswell