Our last operation was a patrol from Fire Support Base Jill down to the Firestone Trail between the Nui Dinh and Nui Thai Vai hills. During the last five days of this operation we took Primaquin and Chloroquin anti-malarial "Happy Pills" as well as Paludrine, designed to kill the malaria in our systems in readiness for the company's return to 1RNZIR in Singapore. The pills were were taken up to the day we left Viet Nam. This poem is about the last day of the operation. A wakey was the morning of the fly out.

Patrolled the flat below the hill
The rain has stopped it sure is still
Bit of weight in this old pack
Cutting in the left strap's slack
Sign from the front says stop and sit
Last ops dragging ain't it

A cup of coffee and a tin of meat
Me pack done up to make a seat
Rains a comin' me tent is up
Found sand and stuff in me coffee cup
Sand and sugar sure don't fit
Last ops draggin' ain't it

On happy pills since the other day
Makes ya crook some blokes say
Cup a coffee and I'll take mine
Coffee's hot, pill went fine
Lost the smoke that I just lit
Last ops draggin' ain't it

The whole day and nothin' on
Last patrol has come and gone
Lay in bed and read a book
Lunch is past got nothin' to cook
Wandered down to the sentry pit
Last ops draggin' ain't it

Hour's sentry and a half to go
Time's a passin' pretty slow
This sentry should be my last
Sure ain't goin' very fast
A wet sand bag on which to sit
Last ops draggin' ain't it

Sit around till its time for tea
Tuna fish is tea for me
Cup a coffee and that'll be that
On Aussie rations you don't get fat
Mossies are comin' just been bit
Last ops draggin' ain't it

Fly out day, and it ain't too soon
Should take off just a fore noon
Got a bit on the pad to clear
Can't help thinkin' of ice cold beer
Choppers here got a place to sit
Last ops dragged ain't it

Peter M. Anderson, W3 Coy, 1969-70

Read more about Peter Anderson's Vietnam experience here.

Reference: 

© Peter M. Anderson. Not to be published or reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder.

How to cite this page: 'Just a Wakey - Poem', URL: http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/memory/just-a-wakey-poem, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 5-Sep-2013