Saturday, 25 April 2009

Shipping off

This ANZAC day many New Zealanders and Australians have their minds fixated on the needless deaths of past needless deaths. This weekend I'll be thinking about one of my dear friends based in the States. After finally settling down with the guy of her dreams, she found out she was infertile. She just took it all her stride and went through the long and very expensive process of adopting two delightful boys from the Ukraine. 2 years on the boys are happy, healthy and have acclimatised to their new home. The progress of the elder one who arrived in America illiterate but now has the reading age of a 9 year old is amazing and a testament to her dedication as a mom.

But what's all this got to do with ANZAC day you might ask?

Well her husband is in the army and will ship off to Iraq in the coming months. Yes she knew the deal that marrying a solider meant there was a likelihood that he might go somewhere dangerous and might come back missing pieces of his body if he is unlucky or not at all if he is very unlucky. But that isn't going to make the next year or so any easier on this little family.

I'm sure I could write plenty analyzing why it is wrong that he is being sent in the first place just as I could about the thousands of sons, fathers, uncles and nephews who were sent to far-off places.

But right now all I can hope for is that he returns safe and well sometime next year.

1 comment:

Anna said...

This is a good reminder of what a morally tricky business it all is.

I've often wondered how the military personnel who carry out various US misadventures justify what they're doing to themselves. Then I read an interesting piece somewhere about why people enter the military in the US - it's the closest institution to a meritocracy, and offers people without much money (quite often blacks and Hispanics) the chance to rise through the ranks according to their ability, whereas they might face job discrimination and get trapped in low wage jobs elsewhere. Interesting argument, I thought - I'd be interested to know more about it.

When my brother was in Korea, he lived near a US military base - the soldiers their had the news and current affairs they could access restricted (to Fox, I think), so the view they took of world events was quite at odds with those of other people.