Rich is an Officer serving in Afghanistan and when he’s not having tea with the locals, he has kindly agreed to write ‘War’ Diaries exclusively for Trivial Pursuits.
Effectively I have a desk job. I sit behind a desk in an air conditioned office all day with the odd night shift thrown in for good measure and I work at a computer. I know what you are thinking- “Didn’t Rich leave London because he hated sitting behind a desk and join the Army to ‘see the world’ and drive tanks?” Well yes, I did, the Irony of finding myself in a War zone, sitting behind another desk is unfathomable. I signed up with all the zest and gusto of Lord Flasheart and am now the Captain Darling of Afghanistan (with Blackadder’s banter).
So to any of you that are worried for my safety out here- don’t be. There is more chance of you getting swept away by the bulging banks of the Thames than there is of me getting into any danger. Indeed, other than the heat, there are times when the only hint that I am inAfghanistan is hearing the call to prayer bellowing from the local mosque.
The upside is that I get to run the day to day battle that unfolds for our regiment- or at least aid in doing so which is very interesting even if you are not supposed to be in this headquarters until you have been in the Army for about 6 years+. I am the second most junior Officer in this place (of about 500) so you can imagine how high and mighty I feel on a daily basis. Needless to say I spend a lot of my time with the most junior chap and bully him relentlessly to make me feel important. We are like the kindergarten club- left to play in the corner while the grown-ups do the work. If only that were the case, I might get some free time.
Another perk is the fact that I can sit here and write ‘I could tell you what I do but I would have to kill you’ with a degree of truth as it is all ‘SECRET’ documents and secure phone lines. Admittedly, I probably wouldn’t kill you, I might just ask you to pinky promise not to tell the baddies. Also, most of what goes on here goes straight over my head so I couldn’t tell you anyway.
So life is surreal but fine, I cannot wait until the half term break (in August) when not only do I get to come home for 2 weeks but then I also get to come back out here and finally drive tanks and see some real life Afghans- maybe drink some tea with them and tell them everything is going to be OK, well until we all bugger off in two years time when things will get interesting…
Many thanks to those who have written- some extensively- always good for morale plus kindergarten corner is running low on paper Aeroplanes and Origami material…
By Rich Glover