Hi-Ho! Hi-Ho! It’s off to war he goes!

The bird has flown the nest…stay safe. This has been the most emotional pre-deployment I have ever experienced – bearing in mind this is the 8th time I have done this and we are now actually separated! What is all that about? Maybe it’s because we had such a shit year and it’s all culiminating into this deployment. I haven’t cried properly since the court case. I have had the few tears roll down my cheeks but I haven’t done that big, blobby, hearty sob cry to release all the pressure and the tension. It’s still loitering around mid throat. I have the occasional well up – especially if someone is nice to me. I find it easier when folk are nasty because I put my fighting pants on and think ‘you cannot harm me, my wings are like a shield of steel’ – I love Batfink!

Hagar really struggled to leave the children. The Menace is now 4 years and she misses him when she doesn’t see him in the week. This is a long time for her. The Grenade knows about war and realises the danger. We then had an unfortunate incident at school when another kid said to him ‘I hope your daddy gets shot’ and The Grenade said, ‘well, at least my daddy goes to war and fights for his country.’ Such a measured response, but we had to nip it in the bud. Children will be children, and I was one once myself, they don’t know what they say and I know this 8 yr old boy was just being mean. The school, the parents and the boy himself have been so brilliant that it re-aligns my faith in humanity.

Then on Tuesday night I watched the Imagine on BBC 2 – Theatre of War
From rehearsal room to triumphant performance, imagine… follows the extraordinary theatrical production of The Two Worlds of Charlie F. Professional front line soldiers, all of whom have sustained injury ranging from amputation to post traumatic stress, join forces with a professional theatre company to help write, rehearse and perform a play based on their experiences of war in the killing fields of Afghanistan. What happened when they swapped the theatre of war for the London stage?

And tears just rolled down my face. I highly recommend you watch it. There is so much pain in war and so much bravery too but I can’t bear it. It tortures me to know that people do this to each other and I struggle to understand why. I have seen so much pain and bravery in this senseless battle that destroys the minds of good people, shatters the bodies of the athletic and hammers the marriages of the loved. One person goes to war and another person comes back. In a decade of service life I have watched the souls slip out of well meaning, ambitious individuals and the automaton take over, as they lose their humanity, and become all about effect. Delivering effect. Delivering effect….effectively at the price of their souls, and the souls of many, who are silently screaming…’stop the bus I want to get off!’…..but don’t, out loud, or can’t, because they have nowhere else to go……hi ho…it’s back to war they go.

Last year I got many ‘shut the fuck up’ calls about my blog and my writings. This caller (a well meaning personal friend of Hagar’s) was telling me how I was risking the lives of the serving with my writings. But it’s not my blog that risks the lives of those on the frontline. It is not me killing soldiers – it is the enemies of the Governments they are sent to fight, and it is the Governments that send our troops into wars with spurious rationales. It is they who have blood on their hands.

This is last year’s deployment:

Hagar goes to Afghanistan
Hagar’s Day is the Night Shift
Blackout
Cream Crackered
The Truth You Can’t Handle My Truth
Hagar is home safe

So ‘friends of Hagar’ don’t call me to rattle your sabres and tell me to ‘STOP!’ Because when you are keeping the home fires burning, which I am, those are not the calls you need. I will protect Hagar, with love, kindness and compassion. I will fight for him, and I will fight for my family. Don’t threaten me. I am the extended family; the home front that watches over his children and keeps the ground stable in the face of great adversity. If you want to call me, then do so to ask me how I am; but this blog is my voice, which I have a right to air, so if you have something to say about it then use the comments section and share it with the world. It’s not my fault you are gagged and I am not. Don’t text me, call me, or slag me off behind my back – man up and say it for yourself. Let the battle commence.

The bird has flown the nest…..stay safe.

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