Tonight I went to the leaving do of a friend. After many years of military service he decided he'd done his 'duty' and decided to leave for a civilian career.
Just after I met him I joked that any job that involved firearms and body armour was the wrong job. He joked that in most of his jobs he'd been reassured by both. An uncomfortable silence followed.
I then said 'yeah but you've put that behind you?'
'Yes thank god'
He ranked as captain and was kept on the reserve list. Not ideal but he taught tactics at the TA, got weekends away with other men obsessed with military paraphernalia.
Tonight he's been recalled for a year in Afghanistan.
What is the point of sending a man finally socialised in normal society to kill for a reason none of us understand.
The afghans don't want him there. The British army won't be impressed by his years going 'soft'
His allies, the locals and the Taliban will all try to kill him.
His crime? He's done it before.
My friend the ex-submariner was deemed unfit for work and pensioned off. Yet when G4S screwed up he did convoy duty for 6 weeks so the regulars could patrol the Thames during the Olympics.
Bunch of arse. Hope you get to come back with the humanity you've developed and a your body parts attached. The British military has a survival rate to challenge cancer.
Why are we even in these places?
Cheap petrol, US policy, idiocy and the inability to learn from history.