Nature v Nurture Letters to nowhere

Cracks

Image by Truthout.org via Flickr

Nature v Nurture

Imagine a  plant.  I was going to use an orchid but I have a perpetual ability to kill them, so imagine a rose.

Without careful attention to the base of the rose, the soil around the roots and the roots themselves, the rose (unless its a wild rose or a climbing rose – pipe down rose people) will not reach its full potential.

Soldiers in committed (happy!) relationships are not so dissimilar.  So often my other half has told me about a friend arguing furiously with his other half, standing shouting on his mobile outside of their living quarters’ front door.  A lad even went home on a lucrative course that was set to change his life completely – and get him a 20 grand pay rise – purely because his girlfriend made him choose between the new job and his life with her.

The army do not seem, still, to understand that the needs of the girls and women (and men) “outside of the wire” reflect deeply on the men inside the wire.  If they do not reach out and communicate with the partners, the partners feel shut out and alienated, which therefore breeds resentment, thus creating conflict within the relationship, resulting in a soldier with things on his mind when he should be concentrating on work.

Tend the roots, and your flowers will be prize winners.  Neglect them and the neglect will be obvious.

Ways the Army/RAF/Navy could incorporate (and appease) partners:

  • Wife and girlfriend briefings pre-tour (I’m getting one of these though I hear they are v. uncommon!)
  • More social activities behind the wire – at the moment, only married quarter-dwelling wives are invited to social events at the barracks.  Invitations should be open to all officially declared partners.
  • Regular contact – even if it is just emails detailing where partners are / will be (a timetable perhaps)
  • Help and details of someone who can be contacted should we notice symptoms of PTSD in our partners

I am sure there are many more….  feel free to add your own

Credits to Letters to Nowhere for writing this blog post.

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