I'll be watching later the repatriation of 8 brave souls as they return from Afghanistan. Special thoughts to the tankies from the Royal Tank Regiment, as in a previous life I worked very closely with 2 RTR.
I can't help but think how young some of these casualties are at just 18. It looks like one hell of a dirty war out there, and one wonders if some older heads are called for. I've met recently some ex paras who are still rock hard and itching to get out there but are deemed too old. I think the cut off for the Territorials is 43 despite your previous experiences and background, although they take ex regulars up to 52 if you have the support skills they want. I believe the Americans have increased their age limits recently and no doubt we won't be too far behind.
A friend's son went out at 18 and his unit took casualties but not on this scale. The worry for family at home is immense and I hope they find some peace in the knowledge that their son's really lived a life and will be forever young. They made a choice to fight for queen and country and we should be proud of them, despite your views on the conflict. I think the on lookers in Wootton Bassett speak for the rest of us today.
My daughter is toying with a military career and I think is sounding me out to gauge my views. Her choice ultimately, but it will be a more favourable response than when she sounded me out about joining the police.