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“Caring, Thoughtful and Selfless.”

February 3, 2011

“The perception of 16 Air Assault Brigade as a purely war-fighting machine seeking a fight could not be further from the truth. I am constantly amazed at the compassion shown by our soldiers when dealing with some horrendous situations, and the lengths that they will go to, to prevent civilian casualties or save lives, especially amongst the children, even if it puts their own lives at risk. Whilst most of our soldiers necessarily exhibit a hard exterior, it is clear to me that underneath they are also caring, thoughtful and selfless.”

Lieutanant Colonel David Eastman writes from Task Force Helmand Headquarters about a novel concept for capturing the thoughts of soldiers within Task Force Helmand and the link to the Imperial War Museum “War Story” initiative.

The Boards

History is replete with stories of soldier poets and artists using their work to try to portray the extreme and unusual circumstances that ordinary people face daily during conflict situations, and the ability of human nature to accept and function under these conditions. Afghanistan is no different, and during this deployment we have been fortunate to have a number of artists with us aiming to capture the essence of our work here.

One of the more unusual is a former paratrooper, Derek Eland, who has a novel concept for capturing the thoughts of the soldiers within Task Force Helmand. Derek has set up boards in a number of patrol bases across our area of operations with the idea that soldiers would be able to write their thoughts, feelings and emotions on cards resembling post-it notes and place them on the boards. In this way, he hopes to capture the reality of life for a soldier in Afghanistan.

Read the rest of Lt Col Eastman’s blog and many others similar to this here

8 Comments leave one →
  1. ukcowgirl permalink
    February 3, 2011 13:26

    as a para mum, i can only agree with you! this project is a well thought out idea. keep the faith. xo

  2. Helga permalink
    February 3, 2011 15:24

    Wonderful idea. Great to get the thoughts and feelings from the “lads” on the ground and may possibly help them to get their thoughts out onto paper. This would be a great project for schools to visit at the Imperial War museum to help the younger generation understand that its not all about killing but reconstruction and supporting the locals to make their lives better for themselves and their families. Our troops are the best and this project will help others to see that also.

  3. Elaine S permalink
    February 3, 2011 19:33

    I think this is a wonderful idea and I would take it even further of putting all this into a Soldier postit book. I am a great fan like many around the world of the Postit website and they too published a book and it is something everyone can relate to, in a soldier one like what you are doing out in the PBs will certainly help the soldiers and they too will heavily relate to thise postits. I have never been more prouder of our army, our lads and lads are not only a credit to their country but of their parents and have a real balance of justice, strength and humanity in the warzones.
    My son is on tour but is home thankfully on R&R at the moment and I am so very, very proud of him and his compassion for the Afghan people. All our troops are in my prayers daily.

  4. Elaine S permalink
    February 3, 2011 19:34

    Oops! I meant to say lads and lassies, my apologies.

  5. Joy permalink
    February 3, 2011 20:22

    I think this is a really good idea, they can express there feelings…Other people can see exactly
    how the soldiers are feeling..It would be nice to see a few nof the comments on here….

  6. February 4, 2011 02:35

    Delighted to see this happening. I’ve been part of a project in conjunction with Priscilla Dicketts the mother of Oliver Dicketts who died in the Nimrod disaster, to publish a book of poems and reflections from service personnel on ops, and their families, including the children. The content is very varied and evokes all emotions. All proceeds from sales of the book – ‘Dark Clouds & Silver Linings’ – are being donated to the charity ‘Talkiing2Minds’ (www.priscilladicketts.co.uk)

    Priscilla continues to receive new material….there is a wealth of literary talent amongst our service personnel…..not to mention artistic and photographic skill as well, so look forward to seeing the exhibition at the IWM.

    God Bless them all
    Agnes & all at ‘Support our Soldiers’

  7. February 6, 2011 22:33

    This is a good idea however, I personally would like to see these made into a book to be sold with all profits going to Help 4 Heroes and other ‘charities’… so many of our troops have been physically injured but long term, I wonder how many will have mental health issues…soldiers thoughts/feelings/actions put into words to help each other (and their families)…it could also be beneficial to troops yet to be deployed….Only an idea.

    God Bless All our Troops…You are doing a brilliant Job, along way from home and loved ones. Proud of You All. x

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