Saturday, 30 June 2012

Next of Kin Have Been Informed but Should Refrain from Asking Questions OR A Different Kind of War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

Once a year, Armed Forces Day here in the UK celebrates and commemorates the contribution our armed forces make to the security of our country and around the world; a world that owes much to the men and women in its armed forces wherever they may be. Neither, though, should we ever forget that we also owe much to their families and friends who time and time again, are called upon to pick up the pieces of life, love, and hope when things fall apart. 

Wherever there is war or any armed conflict, be sure there is a Home Front being fought too.

No one doubts the courage and devotion to duty of the world’s men and women fighting to keep their country safe and free, but sometimes I think those left behind get a raw deal from the likes of our Ministry of Defence.

NEXT OF KIN HAVE BEEN INFORMED BUT SHOULD REFRAIN FROM ASKING QUESTIONS or  A DIFFERENT KIND OF WAR

What do people mean when they talk about
the integrity of war?

Is it a comment on the neatness of body bags
laid out in a line?

Or maybe they are referring to injured people
rising above despair?

Can it be they mean the finer principles of war
have been upheld?

(Doesn’t everyone do their best to keep friendly
fire incidents to a minimum?)

Maybe our generals court integrity for strategies
of ‘win some, lose some’?

Can it be politicians promote their own integrity
to win elections?

Maybe it’s all about being polite, discreet, about
to whom the spoils of war?

I asked a soldier who lost an arm and a leg in Iraq,
but he just shrugged

Maybe (the soldier said) I should ask the orphans
and widows…on both sides?

Lots of questions and not nearly enough answers
or right ones


[From: Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2012]



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