I doubt I could ever make this post sound or convey what I want it to. I’m not particularly political; I discuss politics a lot, it’s the type of friends and family I have, ever diverse with lots of different opinions, it’s the way I like it. Anyway not so long ago a friend, a good guy, a boy when I knew him well, grew into a good man. He joined the army and like many of the people who are in the forces went and fought for his country and to protect the people he cared about. At the age of 21 he came home after being in an explosion, he lost his legs, maybe both arms and was on a life support machine in a critical condition. I knew him from T.C. my secondary school and from that instant he became our T.C. hero. Regardless of whether I think the occupations or wars and the terrible tragedies that are currently being carried out are justified, I hope that I will never fault the bravery or the people who are courageous enough to die and be horrifically injured for a cause they believe in and to carry out a duty to protect their country, that is an integral part of their lives.
I lived on Facebook from the moment I was informed my friend had been severely injured and for days saw an out pouring of grief that a decent man we knew could have befallen such an awful tragedy. “Thoughts and prays” were sent him, his family and friends and his regiment and the repeated phase that he was a “hero” and should “stay strong” from many of our class mates illustrated our painful desire for his recovery. There seemed to have been a collective holding of breath as we waited, waited for someone we knew to be hurt to bring it all so much closer to home. There was a mass disbelief and sadness from a school and community that struggled to come to terms with such a shock. In three hours a Facebook group simply named after our soldier was set up it gained 197 members as people came home from work to the dreadful news. I watched people I had known for years express emotions and ideas that they had hidden and watch as the best of each person came to offer what they could in support and help. There was a communal feeling of sorrow and pain and disappointment at such a great potential of life being shattered, but there was also a feeling of hope, of good and loving wishes to his family and his friends. People will band together it seems and find the light in the darkness. Despite a shared dispirited feeling, it seemed this small flickering candle of kindness and optimism could not be extinguished, it would not be defeated. I don’t think from the moment I found out he was ever very far from my mind. I had always made a concerted effort to be up-to-date with international conflict even if they weren’t in the news, I felt it wrong to be so easily pushed aside and now it felt so close and destructively real. I am always thinking of him.
I have no real idea where I want to go with this post, I have a close relationship with the Armed Forces many of my friends are in the forces, I grew up in a school where several of my friend’s parents were in the Forces and numerous of my friends had aspirations to join. I always found the courage, dedication to a duty and belief that they would be doing something great for their country inspirational. This doesn’t mean that I like the fact that we have armed forces or that in a day and age when a single tragedy and the hope and best wishes for the best could be communicated in a few hours there is still a need for such a destructive force. I do not believe in war. I do not believe in the civilian life lost and the destruction of a country. I find however that these feelings of disgust have little to do with the feeling of disgust I feel at having such a personal feeling of grief. He was a decent man, who joined the army for a way of life he understood and would honour, for a family and to be something he believed in. At such a young age he had already gone through so much tragedy and now any life he may have had has been taken away from him.
This isn’t supposed to communicate my ideas about the wars or occupations, why we are there, or even if it is right or wrong. This is about one man and my feelings about him. This I suppose is a very selfish post, to bring such a large and appalling tragedy and war to one man, to one incident, but I have to wonder why? Why was the life he could have lived taken away from him? Why did this happen to him? Why is this allowed to happen? What is the point of this?