I will try again (with memory) what I wrote last night twice and lost both drafts, as I was logged out just after pressing the publish button.
I was at a memorial service for a friend on Sunday. In a small Church ,in a small seaside town. Sombre affairs these services, so it was a relief when we all spilled out in the hall for “refreshments’.
There were people from all walks of life,mostly medics and nurses and social workers,so I thought. Then I was introduced to a young man, a rather shy and softly spoken person I thought.
So do you work locally? I asked by way of making conversation.
Errr,no, he said; Am a Bomb disposal officer.
Oh, I took a deep breath, looking at him with renewed respect and interest. It has always intrigued and troubled me, as to what goes through the mind of these brave men, when they approach a roadside bomb,not knowing if they will be able to tackle it without the loss of life and limb.
He made light of the matter,saying that he had no choice in the matter,it was not a matter of bravery but of contractual obligation,he was employed to do a job and he did it.
I have never met anyone who has diced with death and injury before,as a matter of routine,as a job.
Though our town has lost 13 young men in the Sangine area of Afghanistan. The Commandoes are now due back ,having handed over the control to the American forces. I saw a young man from that regiment,last night on the local news. He was “devastated” that they have not finished the job,and as he put it the loss of his colleagues and the time spent there, ,has “left him feeling hollow”.
Indeed. Perhaps most of us ask that question every time we hear the news of loss of life. whoever it may be,civilian or the military personnels.
So going back to my question.have you ever met anyone ,who has gained your instant admiration and respect? And I don’t mean just because they were famous,but someone you came across in your every day life.
Because I feel that it is the ordinary men and women who have the greater capacity of doing remarkable things and not seek recognition for it. As it is only in this country that I have come across the concept of voluntary work. Hundreds of people give up their free time to make a difference to others lives.
something we rarely acknowledge.