He wasn’t even shaving regularly when he first donned this uniform. There was a joke amonst his friends that he could trade his shaving kit for a couple of smokes.
Now his skin was not so smooth, his attitude less cocky. His hands shook as he did the stiff buttons on the faded khaki tunic. His boots were long gone but Kelly had helped him on with his socks and shoes that a young cadet had polished till they sparkled like glass.
He straightened his medals and pushed his hat firmly on his head. He could smell the polish on the chin strap as it passed under his nose. The thick glasses now perched on his nose were not part of his original official uniform. Taking the crisp white handkerchief from his pocket, he dabbed at the water leaking from his eyes, and wiped his glasses, grabbed his stick and stood.
Kelly helped him into the car and strapped him in, Not much was said, there was not much to say.
“Wait Grandad!” young Cameron yelled.
He pulled a small branch from the bush next to the driveway and reaching through the window he pushed a small sprig of Rosemary into my buttonhole. He kissed his grandad on the cheek, stood straight and saluted.
“Say thanks to your friends for me”.
The wail that was welling up inside finally broke and the old private remembered his friends on the way to the memorial.