I have a few friends in the British military, who not only act as a constant reminder that we are at war but also keep me informed of the latest developments that UK troops face.
It’s been a while since we’ve spoken and personal matters, whether love or house buying or acting, have rather distracted me from the bigger picture of world affairs and illegal wars fought in far off lands. I had a rude awakening to the eternal fact that young men are still dying in our name, seemingly forgotten as they go about their work in Afghanistan (yes, we are still fighting in Afghanistan), suffering causalities as our media outlets prefer to focus on Home Office mishaps, reality TV brutality and British Airways strikes.
My friend’s company were in a vehicle that hit a landmine, one died instantly, most were blown from the transporter relatively unhurt but one was trapped under the burning vehicle, on fire himself. Unable to move the massive weight on top of him and seeing a comrade burning to death and in extreme pain, his fellow soldiers attempted to amputate his destroyed legs with the only thing they had to hand: a spade.
Imagine that: burning to death in some foreign land, knowing that death is at hand as your brothers try and hack off your useless limbs. The young soldier in question died before he could be saved and he is not alone. Every day brings fresh UK and US causalities and we go about our lives; protected from the continuous stream of young dead lost in a vain cause, seemingly taking the military dead for granted.
I for one will not forget them and what they have been asked to do and the price they have paid.