A Shadow In Life

It was just one of those summer days, warm and breezy just perfect to me life seemed so great that it would have been hard to exemplify it. I wouldn’t have known it then but it was one of our last together. We all spent most of that day lazing about without a care. Nothing could have fazed us, it seemed as though nothing would make us care. At this time we were all nearing seventeen and the prospect of our future seemed an ever-dominant part of our lives. We all had our ambitions, our dreams and we were all so ardent to accomplish them, and then as is always the way it stopped almost as if brakes were slammed on our lives. Nelson Lewis had run over to tell us of the breaking news.

This news was not welcome – Nelson and his whole family were the busybodies of our neighbourhood. Everyone’s business was theirs, but theirs was their own – he brought news of an attack on our nation evidently this would lead to a war. For the leaders at this time were hasty and never fully let the dust settle before they requited such acts that had been committed against their country.

It was the opening game at the new Wembley Stadium on this particular day and as far as we could gather it was the target of the encroachment. The England Team were Facing Brazil and the crowd was and its 90,000 capacity. As pictures were released to TV channels it became obvious that the �757 million structure had been reduced to near rubble, only the south side of the stadium remained standing. The loss of life was extortionate. Our leader then announced the predicted, we were at war. However, who with? The world? It didn’t make sense under two hours ago we were there enjoying an idyllic day and now it seemed as though a cloud of darkness had came over us, shadowing our lives, it may as well have been the end of the world. From this day it was obvious that things would never be as they were before, I hadn’t noticed it then but within the next days I had matured and the serious things in life had come into perspective.

The next morning we woke up to more tabloid stories, each paper said differently and it was the same on the television too. However they all agreed on one thing it was the work of North Korea, its leader Kim Jong Il was notorious to the international community and had been a growing threat since he came to power on the 8th October 1997. Over those six years he had accumulated weapons of mass destruction and his plans for nuclear weapons were undeniable. The pressure of this had erupted into what was known as the war that would end wars.

Nobody knew how to react to the news, before we knew it propaganda was everywhere and here we were in a second rendition of the blitz only this time effects were worse, since 1945 the military on both sides of the world had researched into precision bombing, if they wanted to hit something they would. Every one aged sixteen to thirty five was called up in some way or another to help the war effort and in a strange way it brought us all together; we were fighting a common enemy.

We were all divided up and separated to major cities. I’m based here in London, Jack is up in Manchester, and Jodie is down south in Portsmouth, I admire her confidence and sheer braveness. Down there she is in the thick of it, it doesn’t get much worse than it is down there for that is the home of our navy and Gosport is home to H.M.S. Excellence our training ground for that area.

I’ve been here in London for almost three months; I have lost contact with Gemma and Graham. Just a week ago we heard that America has joined us, and I will admit it seems as though they have taken their time in doing so. For a country that has made so many political speeches over terrorism it seemed that they could not fully commit to a war even though it was in their plans.

Tomorrow I leave for Chorwon; this is a town in South Korea near the border of the North. It will be a secret assault and I suppose that is why I am writing this out, I want it to be my view and my story just in case the worst happens out there. Maybe if America hadn’t of joined I wouldn’t be going, they say my family will be taken care of and that my country is proud of me but I’m not so sure. If something happens to us twenty out there no one will notice or care and our families will only be told that we died in dignity which I fully understand will not be the case. And so tonight I will see my family for what may be the last time, it will be excruciating leaving them but I have to do my duty and if my time comes I will try to be the dignified soldier everyone seems to want me to be.

My idyllic adolescence has been torn away from me and I feel as though I have missed out on something. I know i’m not the first and definitely not the last teenage soldier. But I know out there it will be lonely and the only thing I will have to remind me of my past is a photo that will forever be part of my future.