I Just Wanna Be
“Ya know! ... I watch ‘youse’ all on Anzac Day,
As you blokes march proudly by;
I ponder at all those vacant spots,
Don’t understand yer reasons why!”
“Hey! ... I didn’t wanna be no ‘hero’,
Going off to a war to fight;
Until all danger was then over,
I stayed well hid, right out of sight!”
“Yeah! ... I’m buggered if I’d be a ‘hero’,
Rather enjoyed my cocooned life!
So I falsified my records,
Even married my first wife.”
“No! ... Didn’t wanna be no ‘hero’,
Not even like any of ‘youse’ ;
Instead I joined those growing lines,
Of protesting Uni queues.”
“And ... I grabbed me a medico,
To help ‘doctor up’ my files;
I convinced him that I suffered from,
Severe migraines and piles.”
“No! ... I didn’t wanna volunteer,
Or become a stupid ‘Nasho grunt’ !
Perhaps then be sent to Vietnam,
Become a forward scout out front.”
“Gawd! ... Didn’t wanna have my legs blown off,
Become wounded in my mind;
No! ... I didn’t wanna be no ‘hero’,
Preferred to hide and stay behind!”
’Twas true! ... But now I’ve thought about,
All those things that I haven’t seen;
Realise my life’s been bloody boring,
And ponder just what could have been.”
“So ... in hindsight, now I’m older,
I wanna be like you, please thanks!
‘Cause since that war’s now over,
I’d like to join up in your ranks!”
“Yeah! ... I now wanna be a ‘hero’,
Just like ‘youse’ and all the rest;
Wear my purchased pretend medals,
And pretty ribbons on my chest!”
“Yet ... I don’t wanna stay forever,
Just another ‘wanna be’!
Please tell me where to sign up now,
And what’s the going price for me?”
Look! ... This sham deserves exposure,
Brian Dennehy made the news;
Another ‘wanna-be’ has surfaced,
Who didn’t care to pay his dues.
And ... there’s another kind of ‘wanna-be’,
Rorts the system with his lie;
Never patrolled beyond the wire,
Yet now claims for TPI !
So ... it’s quite a common story,
Such false records they’ve proposed;
These clowns ignored the joining fees,
And find our membership’s now closed!
Brian Dennehy (L) in a scene from the film Rambo.
I Just Wanna Be
Sadly, there is a significant number of people who falsify claims of having served their country in some theatre of war. There are also some genuine veterans, who through some feeling of inadequacy, find it necessary to embellish their war service record. These people collectively are known as the ‘wannabes’ ... wanting to be something they are not and are prepared to lie about it and therefore devalue the service of genuine veterans. They exist worldwide and come from all levels of rank and society. The first publicised example of a well-known identity in recent years was the case of the actor Brian Dennehy, one of the stars of the film Rambo. President Johnson and Senator Joe McCarthy are but two of the many others.
These unfortunate ‘wannabes’ no doubt have always existed through the ages, but now with the advent of the Internet, more and more of them are being exposed. For those interested in examining this issue further the website www.cpmh.net/cases.html gives some interesting examples. This poem is a ‘tribute’ to these people.
“Liars, when they do speak the truth, are still not believed!” - Aristophanes, 410 B.C.
“I lied about serving in Vietnam and I’m sorry! It all started when I was shooting my mouth off in bars 35 years ago ... It was just something I did to impress people when I was young and stupid!”
- Rambo actor, Brian Dennehy, June 1999 (in Stolen Valor).
“Wannabe veterans have written best-selling books and appeared on
award-winning documentaries. Their harrowing war stories have
fooled wives, friends, psychiatrists, judges and military officials.
They have cheated tax payers out of millions of dollars. But worst
of all they have insulted the bravery and patriotism ...
of the men and women who [genuinely] served in Vietnam!”
- B.J. Burkett in Stolen Valor, 1999.
“Every war produces bogus veterans! President Johnson shamelessly embellished
his WW2 record to get elected to the U.S. senate in 1948 and the infamous
Senator Joe McCarthy claimed he had been wounded in WW2 as a tail-gunner,
when in fact he had broken his leg falling off a ladder whilst drunk!” - B.J. Burkett in Stolen Valor, 1999.