Who pays the price for the loss of young lives?: A story of a wounded soldier

There’s a plethora of wars that have covered the face of the earth since time memorial and yet are still ongoing. One minute it’s fire between Russia and Ukraine and another it’s Israel and Palestine. In Africa, countries like Somalia, Congo, West Africa etc. have had political instabilities leading to massive loss of lives. 

One cold morning, I rushedly hopped on a bus to work only to find a comatose 22-year-old soldier staked on a multitude of machines hopelessly fighting for his youthful life.

Despite the support offered by the machines, he was struggling to catch a breath. At this instance, I called a colleague to help me reposition him. While doing this, I was astounded at the sight of multiple wounds covering his body and the loss of his right arm.

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Apparently, he had been deployed to a peacekeeping mission in one of the West African countries where he miraculously survived a bomb blast that wiped out all 12 of his colleagues in that battle group.

When he woke up 3 days later, he looked around the room in a shudder with tears running down his cheeks. With a shaky voice, he asked, “Musawo, will I ever get a woman to marry looking like this?”. At this instance, my head was spinning, my heart was racing. What could I possibly know? “How are you feeling?”, I responded.

He said, “I ran away from home at 17 years old to join the forces for employment and this is what I get? Am I supposed to be grateful that am still alive? I should have died with my team (while shaking his head). I do not even have the courage to face my parents, my mother will die at my sight.

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Listening to his grievances sparked inexhaustible emotions and silence in the room. His life will never be the same. Also, his dream of finding a companion was questionable. We kept wondering whether these wars are worth fighting but more so, who pays the price for the loss of these young lives?

I could not envision fitting in his boot but only praying for his current recovery and preparing him for professional counselling. Therefore, it is very important for nationals to respect and pray for the heroes (soldiers) who fight to protect their countries at the expense of their own lives. 

The author is, Imelda Namatovu (Passionate Critical care Nurse and First Aid Trainer)

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