This story has been a long time coming. I’ve wanted to write about The Royal Marines since 2012 when my 15-year-old #1 son decided this was a life-goal for him.
One recent Wednesday, after the final Commando Challenge (a 30-mile yomp with weights over Dartmoor within eight hours - as a troop, supporting the whole not as individuals), he and his troop each received their “green lid” from their Commandant.
Long ago, #1 told me this moment would be “better than the birth of his first child”. The pride shone out in his face - you bet that moment was re-enacted for the camera, back on base. #1 looked knackered, proud, confident and, suddenly, completely grown-up.
To understand his journey (and mine) please note that he is the first of our families to join the Forces in peacetime. Many of my family have signed The Official Secrets Act but this has been a less frontline affair, if you get my meaning.
I’m not sure if this would have happened had we not relocated to Devon in 2001 and brought up both #1 and #2 here. The integration with Dartmoor and the inevitability of the sea when viewed 24/7 from rocky Burgh Island are powerful teachers.
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