I've never divulged anything about my husband's job in the Royal Marines. Mostly because I don't want to get him into trouble or put him in danger. Also because I'm still learning and he's still changing! Because of the story below I will give a tiny glimpse.
Royal is a Royal Marine sniper.
A graduate of one of the top sniper schools in the world. Something he is (and absolutely should be!) incredibly proud of.
After getting back home from being deployed this last time - just last week actually - he relayed this story. Something that happened while he was away. Let's just say I was not prepared to hear the person involved say some of the things he did, though it wasn't a big shock to Royal.
Royal and a fellow sniper were speaking with a man about the Commando show and how much they wanted to help the fight in Afghanistan. They both really want to go so badly they can taste it. The man asked why they would want to go and be shot at? Royal replied that well, they would be shooting back and what was important was protecting their oppos (buddies). The man then said,
"But how could you shoot a 10 year old kid?"
A bit stunned but somehow keeping his cool (how, I do not know) Royal responded by explaining that first of all, they do everything in their power not to shoot children and second of all, no matter what the age of the enemy their rounds still kill. If someone is shooting at him, his fellow marines, coalition forces or innocent Iraqi civilians then he will do his job to the absolute best of his ability.
The man seemed wary. He then asked,
"But can you accurately shoot someone from a distance without shooting an innocent person?"
At this point in the storytelling Royal commented to me that he had been supremely annoyed because the man was "questioning my ability with absolutely no knowledge or understanding of what it takes to be a Royal Marine sniper".
But again, Royal maintained cool and even offered an answer before walking away: Yes.
The man asking the questions is an
officer in one of Her Majesty's Royal military forces.
Can you even believe that.
If you can, I bet you can pick which branch of the military it was.