The trouble with spending the majority of one’s working life, as a soldier, is that few of us who have spent our productive years within the military fold can claim any lasting achievement.
After all, architects will have their buildings and copious other constructions to be remembered by, bridge builders and motorway labourers alike, may take comfort from the fact that throughout their working years, they adroitly contributed in the construction of countless, highways, byways and viaducts that ‘assist’ our motorised sojourns across the national real estate.
To say little of the doctors, nurses and midwife’s who have been instrumental over several decades since WW2 essentially, in bringing new life into the world, tragically giving breath to some of the most disagreeable, appallingly alienated and incurably aloof imbeciles who developed as utterly ineffective and wholly unconvincing politicians, the same who, amongst their many other sins, authorised the urban rape of our once verdant communities with reprehensible and unnecessary over-building and pandering to the nation’s besotted adoration of the motor car.
Up to the moment of retirement, I experienced a consistently good time when undertaking uniformed travails and humbly earned considerable recognition for my efforts – most certainly however, as with others holding dangerous jobs, there existed unenviable periods of peril, in my role, each task was ruefully undertaken in the name of executing one’s duties to protect that trinity of national bastions, ergo; Queen, Corps and Regiment.
Despite the “Comes-with-the-job-turbulence” of my occupation, I, [thankfully] sensed little more than a frisson permeating my physical frame and psyche throughout a long and intoxicating soldiering tenure, other than firing-off countless live rounds from one’s issued MOD rifle, chaotically aimed at a masses of committed but delusional enemy forces, coupled with one’s regular negotiation of land mines, those that were buried shallowly on given main supply routes to and from respective martial bases on some or another domestic or foreign land – in compliance with the wishes of the aforementioned key-holding custodians of No. 10 Downing Street.
Hitherto however, I have yet to engage with a soldier of my vintage who would willingly exchange his or her career for another – for those of us who survived the nightmare of operational conflict, we are now faced with new and all-together unfriendlier enemies – a la – personal antiquity and surviving in a world that we no longer have a handle on in our capacity as senior citizens.
Curiously, since retirement earlier this year, I have calculably determined that former white collared workers, yellow or orange-clad labourers, or, green-skinned fighting machines – each share a common denominator – in that no one truly informed us about the psychological ambiguity that consumes our respective seniority – and all that it entails present day.
We are the children of our times and are subsequently affected by the climate in which we now live – predominantly shackled to the alien dominant and abhorrent culture that so prevails – nevertheless, if we do not scrutinise carefully the atmosphere in which we, the ‘Baby boomer’ Brigade currently exist, there is little hope that we will become mentally supple enough to tackle the years that lie ahead.
From my perspective, I have struggled, just a trifle, to adapt as a full-time retiree, the Britain of 2014 is a long way removed from the country I commenced my employment years during the summer of ’65 – this stark realisation suggests to me that I have been guilty of somnambulism over the last half-century, sleep-walking my way through life and not comprehending the situation, or, more to the point, adjusting fully my personal focus regarding the rapidity of change that has enveloped society as a whole.
Our working lives possibly disguised the intensity and swiftness of the so-called progress of the modern world, parents such as myself, simply rolled-with-the-punches, raised their respective broods, and endeavoured to remain within their occupations to keep the bread on the table and a roof over their heads – in the profound hope that our offspring would survive, strive and ultimately succeed in a world we [erringly] ascertained that we still understood – we then retired and experienced first-hand that many of us have been left behind.
Civilization today has gained a taste for freedom and apparently no longer wishes to be deferential to anything or anybody that represents authority, or to a way of life that we once knew. The same may be said for communities overall, the neighbourly infrastructure that was so ubiquitous throughout the UK essentially, has transformed itself into a series of fragmented private and enclosed cells – AKA, private homes.