I hate war
People always say to me that when I married into the military I must have known what I was getting myself involved. But I didn't. I grew up in the 80s when Margaret Thatcher was our first female prime minister. I stupidly believed that women were equal and we could do what we wanted. When I met Hagar, the errant pilot, I fell in love with him, not his job. He was based in Northern Ireland as a Puma helicopter navigator. It was a time of rioting. When he flew at night over the fires and fighting I would lie awake all night watching 24 hour news willing him to land safely at home. I watched the young, thrusting men and women that serve, like an anthropological observer. I never integrated. I was an outsider. This was their life, and their choices, not mine.
I am a peaceful, wandering soul who loves the thrill of adventure on the water without guns and battle. I drove powerboats professionally for photographers at regattas and had worked seasonally basking on the beaches of Spain, France, Greece and Turkey, first teaching children, and then later, adults how to sail. I didn't wear the apparent dress code of those who gravitate towards a UK serviceperson's spouse. I foolishly believed because I tolerated their views, which conflicted deeply with mine, that in turn my rights to hold a different perspective would also be respected. Time and institution wore me down and it became apparent that I was wrong. I learned my hard life lessons very slowly.
Hagar was selected to be a pilot and his training began. He was lucky to join the squadron of his support helicopter of choice. He loved his job. The conflicts unfolded, some more tricky than others when it came to the heightened danger zone. As Hagar went to war more often my hide thickened and I stopped looking at the news, burying my head deeper in the sand. As he became more senior he transitioned from the vigour of youth and hardened too. I can't imagine what it is like to see what he has seen and feel what he has felt in the churn that has now become enduring operations in the Afghanistan war zone.
I hate war.
I hate the relationship between war, power and status. It's an alpha male device of pure raw evil that kills, maims and damages. It makes me sick and the lump hangs in my throat. I can't face it. My head is no longer buried in the sand. I am frozen by it all - buried up to my waist. If I could wave my magic wand and turn back the clock, centuries, perhaps millions of years to find the tipping point where war became the only way to resolve our differences then I would, in a heartbeat, search for another way. A different way; not one based on greed, power and evil acts of death and destruction.
Peace and love.