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December 18, 2013 / viewsfromasmallisland

Home for Christmas


This is a very sad sight. It is a Chinook helicopter and it is used to fly severely injured members of the armed forces home to the UK for treatment at a nearby hospital with a special unit. Whenever I hear the distinctive throb it fills me with sadness as it can only mean some brave soul is coming home and in a bad way. I say a prayer for all of them. A timely reminder as we all prepare for Christmas in our own way.



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  1. amithi / Dec 18 2013 8:50 pm

    I work the late shift at a neurology ward on Christmas Eve (when we exchange presents here in Germany) and the early shift on Christmas morning. And while I will hopefully be healthy, my patients won’t be. I volunteer for these shifts every year, because I believe that colleagues with children and grandchildren should be home with their families, but even more because patients should not be stuck with nurses who only work because they drew the short straw.

    That’s my way of living the Christmas spirit. Way better than bickering at the dinner table… 😉

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Dec 18 2013 9:24 pm

      A lovely gesture and one I’m sure the patients appreciate. People know when someone is just doing their job and when someone really cares. I call such people ‘radiators’; they give off warmth and everyone wants to be near them. It seems everyone is so busy with their lives nowadays that not enough people want to be ‘radiators’. I hope others will be touched by your example.

    • mk / Dec 19 2013 4:41 am

      thank you for your service to these servicemen & women.

  2. Stephen Nielsen / Dec 19 2013 2:11 am

    It makes me sad too, and I too pray for them, but at least they will be safe from any more injuries.

  3. mk / Dec 19 2013 4:41 am

    Thank you for this post.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen (probably you have) the photos of soldiers before/during/after service in Afghanistan? It is striking. It is photography in the service of truth. I asked my nephew to please please please look before he tries to enlist in the U.S. Army.

  4. Sweet as a Picture / Dec 19 2013 7:02 am

    I will say a prayer, right now.

  5. Gallivanta / Dec 19 2013 9:47 am

    How sad. But your description of radiator people is heart warming.

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Dec 19 2013 10:10 am

      I have a word for the other sort of people too but it’s probably best if I don’t’ share that.

      • Gallivanta / Dec 19 2013 10:11 am

        Right! I will just imagine it 😉

  6. colin / Dec 19 2013 11:38 am

    You gave me a moment to reflect on those that are suffering through the holidays.

  7. heila2013 / Dec 19 2013 7:04 pm

    I know the hurt, I live in Israel…. WIsh you a happy happy Christmas!! Heila

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Dec 19 2013 9:04 pm

      I do feel for Israel and all who live there. A place I would love to visit one day. Peace there would be a wonderful thing indeed. To quote Morgan Freeman in ‘Bruce Almighty’, ‘Now that’s a prayer’.

      • heila2013 / Dec 21 2013 10:57 pm

        Thanks for the empathy dear friend. I tend to keep my nose out of politics… but, without taking sides, just let me say this much: I don’t see real peace happening in the near future.
        Enjoy the holidays! Heila

      • viewsfromasmallisland / Dec 22 2013 3:31 pm

        Thank you. I too did not want to express a political opinion, just sadness that such a wonderful country and all its people have had to endure such pain over the years. And to express hope that one day soon it will end. Over the years I have worked with people from all over the world, with many different languages, faiths and cultures; the experience has left me with the conviction that no matter how different we think we are, we have so much more in common than we realise, or sometimes are prepared to accept. Certainly that was my experience. I learned a lot. The vast majority of the people I met just wanted to make the best life they could for their families and live in peace. Not much to ask for but many seem to find it so difficult to achieve. I include people in the UK in that too, as well as the more obvious trouble spots. Anyway, here’s to a brighter future for all those in need. Let’s hope 2014 brings us some joy.

      • heila2013 / Dec 22 2013 8:24 pm

        I think if it were only up to the people and not to the governments, peace could be possible. Yes, lets hope for some positive surprises in 2014. Happy holidays! Heila

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