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Memories of my military days

By Express & | Readers' letters | Published:

Her indoors is complaining that I’m getting under her feet, and I should find a hobby or interest that will keep me out harm’s way, and curtail my section attacks on the fridge, larder, fruit bowl etc.

Thinking about it, I have recently mastered the secrets and mysteries of the digital world and now can, with a reasonable competence, type up this narrative, and so I have decided to add my two pence worth to the military websites.

As an ex-serviceman I still take an interest in all things military, and as of May 14, I am now logged on as a bona-fida member of that prestigious army web site called, Wait for it, Arrse, the all singing and dancing, Army Rumour Service.

It’s much more than you think, forums, helplines, politics,and the usual and all encompassing gripes, moans and whinges section, and, you can trace your old mates, and leave a note or two, and join in the discussions, etc. you get the picture, all done in the best possible taste. So after logging on, establishing my credentials, I started looking through the forums, and was totally immersed in the overall magnificence of it all, the boss shouted up that” hoy, dog breath, its 9,30 your teas cold, you’ve been on that machine for hours, get down here” to hear is to obey, and so I reluctantly shuffled downstairs.

I had totally forgot the small inconsequential items and the day-to-day workings of my former military life, reading the letters, comments and the discussions on the pros and cons of weapons and equipment that I once used, and which all now reside in half a hundred regimental museums.

Stories of failures and conquests made a multitude of foreign postings, the run-ins with the locals, and plod, abroad while out on the lash, incompetent junior officers, and monsters of senior NCOs it all came flooding back, and now at the ripe old age of, well, who cares, how did I ever survive.

Its very hard to describe to civilians the mindset of a serviceman, thinking back all those years, we existed on a different plain, the Russians were the very real enemy, we lived from day to day, and so crammed what pleasures we could get into the short time we had.

Spending time on the computer transported me back to a time that I hope will never materialise again, and today’s service men, with their vastly superior arms and equipment can now react quickly and more efficiently than my generation of squaddies could ever imagine.

My other half is happy that I am out of her way, what with the garden to tend to, books to read, the wireless and general maintenance around the house, and my new-found interest in all things nostalgic, she hopes this will keep me away from her food supplies, no chance, I feel an section attack on the fridge is imminent.,’ hello zero, this is nine eight alpha, contact contact, out.’

Tony Levy, Wednesfield

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