You know how there is so much you want to say but can’t find the words?…… You know how there’s something you are so fearful of but you can’t do anything about it…..You know how there’s some things that you have no control over and you have to let it play out. Yep….That.
Three weeks ago another Australian soldier lost his life in Afghanistan and there was the wounding of 2 others. They were performing clearance operations.
My heart sank to the pit of my stomach and tears instantly rolled down my face. This was getting too real, too close for comfort. The intensity of the situation felt like a heavy breath on the back of my neck and there it has stayed, flowing in and out but unable to be controlled.
Last weekend I said my ” so long, see you later” to my cousin. He is 21. My cousin left to serve for the Australian Army in Afghanistan. This is crap. Technical Term of course.
Defence Chief Angus Houston included among other thoughts in his opening address to the media regarding this loss “We need to steel ourselves for further loss.” Ah the further loss of another 3 soldiers. Bringing the total to 4 in just 16 days. How much stronger and steely do you suggest we need to become? Ok so maybe I’m a bit sensitive at the moment. But really I don’t care. I was over this scenario before it had begun. I’ve been praying this moment was never going to come. That we would pull out our Australian Troops before it got to the stage of having to be deployed to this horrible nasty place.(*censorship is in place at this point in time*)
I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like but from some simple information, that I’m sure has been cleaned up for my pretty little ears this next 8 months for him and his comrades is going to be close to living hell. Freezing cold nights, stinking hot and dusty days, camp beds, close living spaces. Not to mention “confrontations” and the usual noises you have while sleeping in a war zone – planes, gunshots, bombing and explosions. What a magnificent sleep he will have. More the point how does he get off to sleep in the first place.
So I’ve sent him off with his little care parcel packed full of goodies that are going to be oh so useful (not) but I ask myself, what else am I supposed to do than sit here and twiddle my thumbs, Oh and do my freaking head in and pretend whilst doing the mundane day-to-day activities that he’s absolutely fine!
On the day of my cousins departure one of those soldiers who lost his life was being said goodbye to by his family. Lieutenant Marcus Case.
The terms being bandied about to described the scenarios- Gun fire exchanges and IED scouring. Yes they’re too close to home.
What truly made me catch my breath and feel like I was being barrelled in a set of waves with all those irrational thoughts was a beautiful twitter friend, The NDM who lost her brother-in-law, Sergeant Brett Wood.
I’m scared. I’m worried. I cry.
I know many have gone before him and many will go after him. Although now I truly understand what praying for a peaceful world means. When your own blood relative is in a life endangering situation the rules change. It is instinctual without a doubt. My cousins are like brothers and sisters to me. The bond is significant and we will step up into a position of protection- emotional and physical, without hesitation. To know that I can’t be there for him is very difficult. I have to trust those ‘brothers’ have adopted this responsibility for me.
I can only imagine the position that mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children find themselves in with a troop, their troop in the line of fire. My thoughts go out to you to keep you strong.
Whether I believe in the “war on terror” or not. Whether I believe in going to war or not. I support my cousin and our troops because this is what they want to do. They want to defend their country and they want to do this occupation. This is the thing. Within my cousins whole self he believes he has a job to do.
May images like those below keep us positive and willing our loved ones to return home exactly the same way they left us- safe and in one piece.
This beautiful page is where the above footage originated, you can see all the American Troops return home.It would be great to see an Australian tribute page
This is a link to the men who have lost their lives serving our country in Afghanistan. Rest In Peace. Lest We Forget. We are grateful.