81. Soldier (Empathy, Lent 22)

81 fighter

My ideas of what constitutes a good military are probably laughable to most people. I would defend others but am a pacifist at heart. Of course, that’s a lot easier to say in an untested situation. Writing a blog isn’t usually too dangerous (though you might be surprised!). My heroes are of the peace movement and non-violent protest, so soldiering isn’t something I think of much apart from in the sense of spiritual warfare. So today I want to think of it from a different side.

It’s not really about Queen and country for me, though I do think our values are worth protecting. It’s really about freedom. That might sound odd, but I believe democracy, the right to do what you want to with your life, and say what you want to, and indeed fight for what you believe in, are precious things. I consider it a self-sacrificial role in some ways, and in others, a pragmatic one, as it was a career cut out for my particular skillsets.

Defending the realm and the interests of stability both here and abroad, countering terrorism, these things are noble aims. I don’t pretend that I’m happy about everything I’ve ever done on a tour of duty. But I believe it all balances out for the good, and some things are worth paying a price for. No-one can ever say I didn’t stick my life where my mouth was.

Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

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