The story starts off with the news on the troubles in Kosovo breaking out and then takes us into the preparation, training and deployment. Throughout all of this, my fathers' failing health is at the back of my mind and I'm not sure if I will ever see him alive again. We then deploy into Pristina and take up our peace keeping role. This carries on until catastrophe strikes and I am sent home on compassionate leave because my father's condition is worsening. Thankfully, I arrive in time to see him alive again and get a chance to say goodbye to him. I am home on compassionate leave for two weeks because my father lives for ten days after I arrive home and after the funeral, I go back to theatre. By the time Iraq comes along, I am in a much more responsible job, a job that could make or break me. I start off the Iraq campaign, thinking about the pros and cons of the argument. I personally do not want to go because I would rather go back to London, which gets postponed and we end up going in the opposite direction, but at the same time, I do not want to let my friends down. We are in the country a few weeks and nothing much seems to happen until we finally take Basra and take casualties, which come as a shock to everyone. We then spend the next few weeks consolidating in our area and generally trying to control the local population. There are stay behind fanatics and Fedayin, not to mention the local Mafia to contend with. In the end, I decide to leave the Army and try my luck in civilian life.
By: Thomas Mark Johnston