I’ve never lost anyone to war. Both my grandfathers were in the Home Guard, one being a miner and one a station master. None of my family since then has been in the armed forces. But this year I wrote a play about what it was like to come home from war and how soldiers have to adjust to civilian life.
I did the research. I read first hand accounts of men and women who had lost friends out there. I watched awful documentaries about children that were caught in the crossfire. I spoke to people who had been out there and seen soldiers missing limbs going back out to serve again.
I get angry now when people question why troops are still out there. It’s not just about the fighting, it’s about the peacekeeping, helping communities to rebuild their lives. Did you know a British soldier was killed because the Taliban didn’t like the fact he was trying to reopen a local Afghan school that had been destroyed in the fighting?
I called my play Courageous Restraint. Courageous restraint means that when you’re being fired at you don’t shoot back until you have eyes on your target. Bullets raining down on you and you can’t return fire until you can see the person that’s trying to kill you. Could you do it?
They’re people. They’re flawed. I’m not saying they’re all heroes. Just take a moment to think though, because how many of you would be willing to put your life on the line for people you don’t even know in a country you’ve never even been to?
Just take a moment to think, not just about the fields in France, or the graveyards in Belgium, but about the mother who lost her son two days ago because someone planted an IED at the roadside.
(posted on tumblr originally in response to everyone who kept calling today the 11th Doctor's day)