30 August 2005

Spoke last night to the son of a friend, not yet 16, but about to sign up for the Army, the new Scottish regiment being formed out of the ones about to be disbanded. It’s all he’s ever wanted to do, his Dad was in the army, and he’s been a committed cadet for years, but I still felt a shock that this boy – he seems like a boy to me – will very soon be in training for jungle warfare and could well be dodging bullets for his life in earnest somewhere in the world within a year.

He laughed about the recruiting sergeant who’d said, and I hope to God it was tongue in cheek, ‘You know there’s nothing to beat the satisfaction of going in with your mates, kicking down some guy’s door at 3 in the morning, hauling him out of bed and away on the floor of a jeep and knowing you’re getting paid for it.’