terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I've been on a Manchester United mailing list for the last ten years (ever since I moved to Canada for four years of mugging and hockey and sororities) because coverage over there isn't as extensive as I would've liked.

This came over the list today:

"My husband was a list member for a number of years, he enjoyed reading all your comments and reports no matter where he was stationed. He was killed in action on the 12th December whilst serving in Helmand, Southern Afghanistan. Sadly missed by his wife, our three children, his dad, his brother and his very many friends."

Goodbye, Danny. I remember your posts, your opinions.


May it be a better place where you are.

"Frater, ave atque vale."

Updated 29 December 2006:

I know I'm probably overstepping my bounds on someone's grief, but I think I must:

"I would just like to thank you all so very much for your kind words concerning Danny on and off the list. There have been so many from strangers to me but it warms my heart that you think enough of someone to write to his wife like this. I was going to reply to everyone personally but thought it best to write something here, I hope you understand. I know he's met a couple of you on his travels but don't know who? Danny's real name was Tim but his friends called him Desperate Dan or Danny as there was already a Tim in their small unit - he assured me that was the reason and it had nothing to do with A) his travelling ie Daniel Defoe or B) his appetite for 'cow pies' or C) because he was built like a brick ....house. And to the 'Aussie' on here? Dan liked you :)

We will be ok. I'm not sure it's sunken it yet as we're used to him being away for long periods at a time. Our littlest, Sarah doesn't really understand and points at soldiers on the news and yells "Dada!" and I cry every time. But the two boys are being very brave. The eldest is 15 and has always thought of himself as the 2.i.c when dad is away. Of course, everything reminds me of him but seeing or hearing Manchester United on the news or just seeing some young lad wearing the shirt down the road, makes me feel very empty and weak, the gleam in Danny's eye whenever his team was mentioned, I'm sure you all understand. I know the boys will be watching the next match on the telly but I don't know if I can yet, we'll wait and see. Tom will carry on reading these messages in his dad's absence, he used to fill Danny in on all your news whenever he rang.

Danny lived and died a hero. He "carried his radioman to safety under heavy fire" only an hour before his death. But he would never ever see it that way. He loved his job, he loved his pals. And like he always said, he's only there so they wouldn't kill each other. Dan was coming home for good this March. All these years of sharing him with the army, we was finally to have him all to ourselves. He was our hero every day. A wonderful, kind, funny man who put others before himself in everything.

I apologise, I have so much to say but this isn't the place. I didn't mean to take up so much of your time. This has taken me two hours to write. Danny would be extremely embarrassed. To all of you, thank you again from the bottom of my heart. Cherish those around you, cherish them now. And to quote one of Danny's many tattoos, this one under the United crest on his chest "Forever and ever." "

Think maybe it's time our men and women stop fighting the wars that no one wants them there in the first place.


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