Mortal danger as a career

In this Guardian article about British forces in Iraq, the story of Flight Commander* Abbott jarred me. After four tours of duty in Iraq he has decided that enough is enough and wants to start a "second career". What would that be then? Well, joining the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Aaah, what's going on here? First he joins the military. Then he ends up in a war, realises it's no fun and resigns. But he intends to join another military, somewhere where he is unlikely to have to go to war. So, apparently military life has its good sides, but they have nothing to do with reluctantly doing whatever is necessary to protect your nation, at least not if you yourself run the risk of getting killed or injured.

Once I too wanted to be an air force pilot and get to fly fast jets**, but with time I realised that this did carry a non-zero possibility of having to kill other people and that I would have to choose between enjoyment and morals. I made my choice. Abbott on the other hand, wants to keep the cake while eating it. I wish him luck.

*An appointment, not a rank.

**Abbott is a helicopter pilot, which is fun too, I'm sure.

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