War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

morning coffee on Ex

morning coffee stewing outside the flying kitchen, Shilo/smsteele

caught up with the assistant Adj. yesterday by cell. I was on the mother-route, he was in the field already, his tent a mass of files, papers. my file was somewhere in the midden.

“so I’m planning to come on this day until this,” I say to him. “waiting for the chain of command to okay everything,” he replies. “sorry,” he says. I tell him not to worry and that I’m used to this uncertainty…when and where and how. it’s all part of the story I figure. all part of the lifestyle I have the opportunity, the privilege of observing. a life so different from my own.

“I guess you can sort of understand what a military wife or family goes through,” the young Lt. says.

uncertainty. inability to make concrete plans. anxiousness. etc. etc….

this business imposes a certain amount of fatalism upon one. what will be will be. but I’ve learned infantry meditation this past year. an open mind. a faith that the story is revealing itself as it should. never in a thousand years at this time last year, could I have imagined that I would travel with the 22e Régiment, the Patricias, dine with the newly-minted soldiers at Christmas, drink with their senior NCO’s in the Officers’ mess, dine with the Brigade’s officers, sleep in a leaguer with 4 young pups from a rifle coy., watch the stab runs and night fire at Shilo, rise at 04:45hrs with the cooks and watch them feed an army… and there’s more to come

if I’m patient

and I am.

but I can taste the morning coffee on ex. already

2 Comments (Closed)


The picture of the flying kitchen brings back memories. I’d had a chance to work with a few other armies and I can say with confidence that Canadian soldiers are some of the best fed. We always use to complain about our meals but spend a week with the royal marines or the rangers and you’ll find out how bad the food can be. I had no idea that you could deep fry bread, eggs and sausages all in the same pot at the same time. I think only the french had is better (they got table wine at dinner in the field). What was the biggest difference? I think it was the fact that our cooks took a great deal of pride in their meal prep and what they served.

Apr 13 2009 · 09:47


Those cooks work their asses off feeding the soldiers. They are up at 04:30hrs and someone is up or on call for stragglers or late-comers to the field as late as necessary.
I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of the food. The Chinese dinner we had out on the stab runs, was really tasty. Also, lots of fruit and vegs. if one wanted.

Apr 13 2009 · 13:28

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled morning coffee on Ex. It was posted here on April 07, 2009.


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