Real Life: Back To Afghanistan In 2017

“It’s been awhile since Hagar’s been deployed on ops, and as I prepare for it’s coming I think back to the challenges we have previously faced.” I wrote this on May 25th 2010 in my blog post Hagar’s Fantasy Family. Way back when, before we were estranged and before our new existence, as co-parents, was a breathing entity.

I actually think this was the worst deployment departure to date and let’s face it there’s has been so many in our lives that I have many to choose from. I spent a long time trying to fathom why it was so difficult and came up with the following:

  • We are out of practise for this type of deployment. Despite the fact that Hagar, no longer a Chinook pilot, will not be flying into the heart of danger on a regular basis, he will be away for 6 months. In the past he was away often but for shorter bursts.
  • The kids are older, The Grenade, now aged 13, towers at 6ft with size 10 feet and The Menace is now 8 years old. Both will have birthdays whilst he is away.
  • Hagar’s relationship with kids has improved tenfold since his last deployment. As he has stepped away from the high octane pressure of the Chinook world, he has been able to unravel himself and develop a functional, more intimate and empathetic relationships with his children, But, of course, this makes them harder to leave.
  • For us, it was difficult to know how to say goodbye as our relationship is so complex and neutral in it’s estrangement. The sadness loomed over us intensely for the last 3 days. It hung around and we named it ‘The Black Dog’. Between us we yo-yoed between feeding him and starving him.

It got to the point when the car arrived, and it was time to go, I was relieved. Now we could get on with our new lives for the next 6 months. So far so good. He is in situe and the communications are reasonable.

We decided that we would have a competition to see who could lose the most weight. I have begun a 30 day caffeine free, alcohol free, Paleo detox and exercise regime which is going well. I am actually thinking of extending beyond the 30 days.

It seems to baffle those who I tell of Hagar’s deployment that UK plc is still present in Afghanistan. But they are.

According to the Army website:

International actions in Afghanistan since 2001 have significantly reduced the terrorist threat to the UK from this region. A small number of soldiers remain to continue the training and development of the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police.

I am busy as I am the editor of View Magazines, amongst other things. I don’t have a spare minute. I haven’t even begun propagating my seeds yet. There is plenty to do. The summer is upon us. The clocks have sprung forward. R&R has been timed in alignment with the school holidays. Time flies at the moment. It doesn’t seem like 7 years since I wrote Hagar’s Fantasy Family.

The six months will surely fly by.

Clare Macnaughton; a modern military mother; a feminist, British military spouse, and lifestyle journalist, writing about real life adventures.

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