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Swords into ploughshares


Matador!, originally uploaded by ccgd.

A short piece on Radio Scotland recently made me think of these old ex-military vehicles, sitting in the Black Isle field. It was nothing to do with trucks, or tractors, but the phrases and the tones took me back forty years - "young marines" "RPG round" "fire from the treeline" "hearts and minds" "wounds and comrades" and so on.

Of course it was a radio report from Afghanistan, about 42 or 45 commando, and their war in Helmand Province. It was of particular interest as my nephew was in Camp Bastion at the time, doing his tour as a Marine Doctor. (Home safe and well now).

But the words and phrases of the radio report could have been from Vietnam in 1969, not 2009. It's what was on the morning radio, every day, when I was 10, almost word for word, just the accent and marines nationality changed.

But the Highlands and Islands of 2009 are a quite different place to that of 1969, when these old WW2 vintage vehicles were so much a part of the forestry and haulage industry. Now they are museum pieces.

But I wonder if in 40 years time the same words will still be said on news pieces about young marines, and their current war, somewhere else in the world.

I'd like to think not but I have to say that the liklihood is high. Have just trawled your blog for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep up the good work, I'll be back.

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