I’m reading the BBC News website and like most other times when I’ve trawled through the varying pages, I’m getting a pretty good picture of what’s happening in the world. Latin America, Middle East, UK, Business, Politics & Magazine are the usual destinations for my searching. This evening gave a good overview of what was happening in the world, but there was one particular news item that hit home a lot harder than most. It was something I’d known about before the BBC news teams, but was something I couldn’t talk about.
It was the deployment of 45 Commando to Afghanistan. Hundreds of marines based in Arbroath, Scotland, were leaving behind their homes, their families and their training, to be stationed in the Nadi-Ali region of Helmand province. The six-month deployment is going to be the unit’s fourth tour in Afghanistan.
Their Commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Lee said,
“I think we all feel enormously humbled and privileged by the level of support we get from the Arbroath and indeed the wider Angus community […] it’s a very, very special relationship that exists between the commando and the people who live nearby it. We try hard to fulfil out part in that relationship but the people who do so much for us and provide us with so much support are absolutely invaluable to us and we are eternally grateful to them.”
The article then goes to discuss the finer details of their deployment. The reason that I knew about this before the BBC news teams, was not because I had insider information from the MOD, nor had I developed certain psychic abilities – the reason I knew about 45 Commando’s deployment, is because my brother is a Royal Marine Commando and last Saturday he was deployed to Afghanistan.
My little brother was going to war.
To fight for everything he holds true to his heart, and for everything this country stands for in the face of global terror; to serve and to protect.
Over the past five years I’ve seen him grow into this amazing person; a man to look up to and a brother to be proud of. From the first exercise on his PRMC, to 32 weeks of the world’s most gruelling training programme, he’s never given up. He’s not complained or wimped out. He’s given his all and become one hell of a marine, and one hell of a person.
I know I speak for everyone who knows him when I say “that lad better get his arse back home soon”. My thoughts, hopes and prayers will be with everyone from 45 Commando. I know that each and every one of them will be giving their all, for their country, for the people of Afghanistan, and for each other.
Help for Heroes [21:21] Challenge