Like a lot of boys, well kids, I played with toy soldiers (green and grey plastic army men), cowboys and Indians and had toy guns. I had a lot of toy guns haha. I also had GI joes, stars wars toys, He-Man and matchbox cars.
I even had a little posse of mates called the Rat Pack. I was the leader, of course my house my guns my rules dammit!!
I called myself Sergeant Jake Junglerat haha.
My right hand man was Corporal Hicks.
Then there was:
and Stomper who later became Duke Bazooka (long story)
We camped out and shot at invisible bad guys.
So as you can see I took playing army very seriously.
Then one evening my Dad allowed me to watch Platoon to teach me that War was hell.
Dont get me wrong he was fine with me playing War but as I grew older he felt it was important to teach me what War really was/is.
It was a good lesson and good for me to have my eyes opened.
Since then I’ve always been intrigued by War and with our long history of it. I’m particularly fascinated with the US Civil war and WW1 and 2.
You may call it a contradiction but even though I enjoy reading about war and watching documentaries on War I struggle to see why, especially in this day and age, we resort to war/violence. It’s an age old discussion of course but one I find I debate in my own head on a regular basis.
I don’t pretend to have the answers as to why we go to war and why we shouldn’t but some of the questions I raise in my own head are…
Is revenge good for anyone?
To me the simple answer is no it’s not. Then I bring it down to a more personal level and I think well yes it is. Maybe?? For instance I teach my kids that if someone hits them they should hit them back. If they run to the teacher nothing is resolved and the bullying continues. It’s what I was taught and I took it quite seriously. Looking back I see that it worked a treat. Also if someone hurt my family I would unleash hell.
After 911 the “dreamer/hippy” part of my brain thought instead of going to Afghanistan and blowing the place up maybe we should talk to them and say hey what the shit? Why did you do that to so many innocent people? However two very key things come to mind. 1. I didn’t lose anyone in 911 so who am I to say what’s right? 2. You can’t talk reason with fanatical or crazy.
Is it better to strike first before they do?
Now I don’t know too much about what’s going on with North Korea and the US. I only know what the “western world” media tells me. In my uneducated opinion I think two bullies rubbing each other up the wrong way will result in certain doom. In a way, a very sad way, it comes down to which bully should we side with?
Again, on a personal level, if someone was about to hurt my family I would unleash hell. So better to strike first yeah? However, what if I got it wrong and I hurt someone really bad and went to prison. Gulp. I’m too pretty for prison haha.
Is it our duty to get involved in someone else’s problems?
This is an interesting one because I am very much the type of person to go to someone’s aid. Be it a flat tyre or someone who has just been pistol whipped and robbed, that’s a story for another time. I think people don’t get involved enough to be honest. How many times do we hear about someone being victimised on public transport and onlookers just video it on their phones?! I can understand why some people would be too frail, too young and even too scared but when NO ONE does anything it leaves me scratching my head and kind of pissed off.
So what about on a bigger scale? If genocide is happening should we send in troops to help? If a country believes women should be stoned to death for having an affair should be get involved.
I think yes to both but then what about cultural differences? Would I want another country coming to my home and telling me it’s wrong to not believe in God and then punish me? No.
All these thoughts go through my head and I always end up coming to the following conclusions.
1. I will protect my family, my home and my country from threat.
2. I will always help anyone one in need. It doesn’t matter who they are or where they’re from.
3. War is hell but will always be a part of life and maybe, sometimes and sadly, it is the only answer.
4. War, what is it good for? Bringing my mates round for drinks and chips and a chance to play tabletop war games. 😉
I wrote this little poem a few years back…
Im just a man who does what he can
I make mistakes and I get things right
Im a dreamer and a lover but I know how to fight
I watch the children play and hope they never see
The six o’clock news and the global misery
I’m just a man who does what he can
Somethings in life I will never quite understand