An Untold War

I was driving to a meeting in town today.

During the short journey I listened to an item on The World Today.

Nancy Sherman was being interviewed about Robert Bales.

Robert had four deployments to the Middle East in ten years. During his deployments in Iraq, Robert had an injury to his foot, suffered a head injury and saw other soldiers wounded.

Nancy talked about the toll this experience takes.

She pointed out that “we fail to appreciate what multiple deployments in grinding ground wars for the past decade have looked like and felt like”. Her work in this area is shared in The Untold War.

In two days I have listened to Deidre Anderson talk about sport transitions and Nancy talking about the moral challenges of going to war and returning home. Notwithstanding the enormous differences between the two contexts (war and sport) I am struck by the narrative synergy about accounts of transitions.

I think we have a great deal to learn about and share in caring for people whom society sets off on journeys deemed important to the nation state … and yet ignores on return.

Photo Credit

Rainbow Valley

Symbolism: Joy and Sadness

I was at the Sydney Regatta Centre this weekend.

I was watching the final selection races for the Australian flatwater sprint team.

Before the racing started I saw the sun shining on the Olympic rings at the end of the course.

The sunshine encourage me to think about the joy of Olympic selection after years of hard work. It prompted me to think about the sadness too of missed selection after equally hard work.

Symbolically the bridge at the Regatta Centre had one arch in shade and one in light.

Postscript

Shortly after posting this I heard Deidre Anderson speak about sport transitions with Alex Sloan on the ABC666 Breakfast Show in Canberra. I am not sure if there will be a podcast of the conversation between Deidre and Alex but I thought it was a very clear exposition of issues facing Ian Thorpe and others.