Thursday, 16 December 2010

The British Army Blog: The silent liturgy of our farewells

In this blog, Padre Robin Richardson writes from Camp Bastion about the death of Private John Howard on 5 December.

I’m writing this entry back at Camp Bastion; I don’t get back here that often, and this time my reason for being here is a sad one. Private John Howard was killed in action this week, serving with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force and making the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle to give the people of Helmand Province, and Afghanistan, the future they’re asking for at every meeting I’ve been to. ‘If we can have security, if you can keep the Taliban away, then things will be better for us.’ I’m not a commander and I’m not a reporter or a spokesman for anyone other the Church who have loaned me to the Army, and yet I hear the same thing again and again. So, as I sit here having to accept the death of one of our bravest and best, I know that Jack (it’s how John was known) was making both a difference to the lives of people who for decades have been largely voiceless and a measurable mark in the history of ISAF’s support of the people, government and security forces of Afghanistan. Read more

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