I was watching a CD of the second world war, which was concerning people who went to Europe under-cover, and I realized from my reactions to the film, that I would have been useless in that form of warfare. It must take a tremendous amount of guts, and a special type of person to be able to function properly under those circumstances, with all that stress, and spending your life looking over your shoulder.
I have worn three different uniforms in my life, that included carrying a gun. I started analyzing my remembered periods when things were a little hairy. There were occasions where fear might have intruded, but the necessity of the moment was so strong by comparison, the immediacy, the union with other people in the same circumstances, that I don’t remember fear being a major element. Of course I was young, which makes a difference, as experience induces awareness. Those of us who were in London during the blitz and others across the country, grew to take it as a way of life, even the falling shrapnel from the shells being fired at the German airplanes, was the norm. I thought about our troops in Afghanistan, where they appear to have very little cover, and there is always that element of the roadside bomb. I cannot speak for them because I haven’t asked them, but if you’re faced daily with the same conditions, you might be concerned at the beginning, but, in my view, routine and companionship combine to give a different perspective – the everyday element. Also in my experience, there is the certainty that we all had, that it wouldn’t happen to us.