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

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Our War - The Invisible Enemy


I have just been watching Our War, about our guys in Afghanistan and how they were dealing with being out there... seeing some of the footage reminded me of some of them special moments of when I served in the army and being with MEN.

Sitting in a field or wood up to your knees in mud, wet cold. Even when spring is all around and yet your in a place that does not fit in with your surroundings such being surrounded by wire with a Honey Buzzard calling above you. Special moments of taking the piss out of each other, a way of dealing with frustrations or just plain and simply to have fun with each other.

I loved the comment made by one of the guys to the cameraman just before going out on patrol "If I cop it tell YOUR mother I love her", this is humour that I love. In this new life you would not get away with it, this shows the deep bond the men form with each other which carries on into civvy street even when you disagreed with each other, the bond remains.

The smells, the sounds, the breeze on your face, freezing cold then being warmed by the sun in the early hours of the morning before heading out on patrol with MEN who you trust with your life. Waiting face down in the early hours for something to happen, moving through the countryside at the dead of night feeling you are the only people around and nothing else matters. Feeling the intense heat from the oil wells that are miles away, at ten in the morning as the heat of the day picks up and your in your truck. Being able to look at the sun with your naked eye because the oil filled smoke protects you from the suns rays.

Since being in this new life it has to be said those moments are not there any more, it is difficult to describe how that feels. Your body remembers, you remember.

I was reminded recently when teaching a tracking course up at Otterburn, the guns were firing in the background and I found myself in juxtaposition between the two worlds.

Life can be strange but beautiful at the same time.

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