the war goes on
Oct 31, 2011
I’m off the grid, Canadian news sometimes takes awhile. my head is buried in letters, books, my diaries, thoughts, as I enter PhD land…
I received an email from someone who helps to organize the motorcycles that accompany a soldier when he or she comes home, announcing that MCpl Brian Greff, a Patricia (3VP), a jumper, reccie was killed in Afghanistan. by suicide bomber in a convoy. he was there training Afghan soldiers.
people often ask me what I think about us getting out of Afghanistan (as if my opinion should count – and that’s laughable, because I know nothing, absolutely nothing, I just happened to be a “tourist” for a couple of years witnessing the road to war and back again). the only thing I say to people who ask is, “we’re not out”.
Canadians seem to like to differentiate between combat and non-combat roles for their soldiers and boil it down to: non-combat = good combat = bad.
it makes Canadians feel better to think about their soldiers as teachers or more comfortingly, as peace keepers. fair enough. because really, the world tends to see us as fair enough. but this totally ignores an almost 400 year military tradition in the country of rather fierce warriors. tough. wanting to do the job. and a soldier is a soldier is a soldier. they shoot, they get shot at. they choose a job that is even in peacetime, very dangerous.
I looked at MCpl Greff’s photograph, one of those dreaded “hero shots” they hate getting taken because they know the photo will be the one to appear in press releases should they be killed. I see a young Canadian. healthy, fit, professional, and proud to be both a Patricia AND a para (no mean feat), and exactly where he wanted to be. doing his job. but right now, in the early hours of shock, this is not even cold comfort I’m thinking.
my sincere condolences to his family, his newborn child. their road to war will never end.