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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Thursday, 3 February 2011

After the war... came the Harrier

After the Gulf War in 1991 it was decided that 127 (Dragon) Battery would remain in Kuwait in direct support of 3RRF (for reasons which I will go into in another post), moral took a dive, after all everyone was going home and we were staying.

Soon after we had many visitors to the Battery, General Schwarzkopf, being one of them and of course one of our own high ranking officers whose name escapes me (apologies to the person concerned).

He arrived with his shepherds crook and we were paraded in a half circle in front of him and he proceeded to tell us all what a great job we had done and how our country was proud of us etc...

I have to say I personally was very proud of my men without whom life would have been much harder. Anyway, as the speech was being made. I was watching a Pallid Harrier (a bird of prey) quartering the ground some distance behind the officer, suddenly I became aware that a good majority of the men were also watching the Harrier. As the bird passed out of view behind him, body’s moved as one from left to right, (so that they could continue to see the bird) and again right to left. This went on for sometime until a whisper came down the line...

Pssst ask Geoff “what kind of bird is it”? to which I replied "its a harrier" this information moved down the line like a concentric ring, again I could hear the whispers moving back like a wave towards me, as one of the men leaned over he whispered to me “isn't that a f@+%?*g plane”.

I was left with these thoughts. How I love our sense of humour, in the moments when our thoughts were of home and loved ones, we had to listen to a speech, however well intentioned, and the POWER of NATURE had its role to play in keeping our SPIRITS up.

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