Posted by BE on March 1st, 2015
Some days ago I wrote a post in the form of a short story. In the story a young man walks into a New Zealand Army recruiting office. He’s 23 and his resume makes it clear that he’s the sort of candidate the Army would welcome with open arms. The recruiting officer can’t believe his luck. This kid is officer material for sure. He tells him as much. But the ideal candidate expresses a reservation about signing up. He wants an assurance that he will never be placed in harm’s way, that he will never be asked to go to war. The recruiting officer is astonished. With as much patience as he can muster, he points out that it’s the New Zealand ARMY the young man wants to join – a fighting force. Armies go to war. Soldiers are trained to fight. Though he might never be required to risk his life, the assurance he seeks clearly cannot be given.
“I know all that, of course,” the young man says, “I thought there might be exceptions. Thank you for your patience.”
Two weeks later a hooded gunman mows down 15 people at a Westfield mall. CCTV footage will show him hacking off the head of a late-middle-aged man with a serrated knife before running from the complex. In less than 12 hours Isis has claimed responsibility for the slaughter.
Within 24 hours the young man reappears at the door of the Army recruiting office. The recruiting officer looks up from the papers on his desk. “You’re back!” he says, “What changed your mind?”