On my way home from work this evening I decided to take a little detour on the bike and venture off to the water park. It’s a usual haunt for my running, but there’s something really fun about ripping round the lakes, speeding down the hills and nearly falling off going up them! With my iPod in situ I was having a great time. With the tunes banging out, my mind wandered to my brother out in Afghan. I was wondering what he was doing, would he be out on patrol, would be back at camp (I use the word camp loosely, as he’s not afforded the conditions of Camp Bastion, his camp is very much front line). Anyway, after 11.5 miles I headed home where my mood immediately dropped, as I read some incredibly sad news.
With news travelling quicker in the 21st century than ever before, I was greeted with notification that a Royal Marine in 42 Cdo had been killed. My immediate thought was “thank god it wasn’t 45”. I still haven’t really gotten my head round the fact that the MOD would tell us if anything happened to my brother before the media would get hold of the information. Directly afterwards, I started feeling guilty, as while I knew my brother was safe, someone’s son, brother, and friend had tragically lost his life. Lost his life fighting for his country.
My thoughts & prayers go out to his family, his colleagues and everyone that knew him. RIP.
Knowing that Nick trained with a lot of the lads from 42, I can’t imagine what he’s thinking right now. Sadness, loss, anger, relief? No-one can know until they’re in that situation. Knowing my brother, and knowing the mindset of the Royal Marines, those trained at the very highest military level, I doubt I’ll ever truly know what was going through his mind.
While I can’t help him now, or even when he comes back, I want him to know that I’m there for him. While my challenges don’t even come close to what that guy, and so many brave Royal Marines & soldiers are going through, I’m doing all this to show him that I’ve got his back; joining the nation to show the Armed Forces that we’ve got their back.
It goes without saying that Nick is constantly in our thoughts, but to know that so many of my friends are behind him as well, really helps in dealing with my little brother out fighting, putting his live on the line. Sarah Shinnick is one of those people who hits the nail on the head each time. Without fail, whenever there is news of a lost marine, she will always get in touch. It’s only 5 words, but what a great 5 words to pick – “hey, is your brother ok?”. While it just seems like 5 words to most people, it meant so much to me this evening.
As their tour will soon be coming to an end, I applaud the bravery, endurance, determination & spirit of everyone in 45 Cdo. It really is a state of mind.
Stay safe, and get the hell home soon.
Help for Heroes [21:21] Challenge