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Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 14:38 UK
Marine wife talks of support network

40 Commando Royal Marines are currently serving a six month deployment to Afghanistan.

The unit has had one fatality, as on 9 May, Cpl Christopher Harrison was killed in an explosion.

Here, Emma Forbes who is eight months pregnant, talks about the strength of friendship amongst the wives as they cope with the risks and fears experienced while their husbands are on tour.

Corporal Christopher Harrison
Cpl Harrison was killed while on foot patrol in Sangin

I've been putting this off, as I didn't know what to write. Last week was a tough week. Two uniformed officers knocking at the door. Bad news. Lives, hopes, dreams shattered. It's the moment we all fear; the moment we all dread.

When Duncan deployed previously, I lived in the city, miles from the unit and totally removed. There was no guilt in thinking 'thank goodness it isn't me and he's safe.' Reported news of casualties was horrific and unsettling, but it still felt abstract.

Now camp is part of our life and the proximity makes the risks and realities of a deployment more stark.

Yet, the community of women and mutual support is something from which we all, in different ways and to different degrees, draw strength.

When we moved into married quarters in Taunton, I hoped to find a new social life far from home. I didn't expect such a bond of friendship.

No wonder the reports back from Afghanistan suggest that the guys are getting on with the job and morale is strong. They are backed by a resilient group of wives and girlfriends on the home front.

My thoughts, prayers and condolences are with Cpl Christopher Harrison's wife Becky and their family.

Previous posts by Emma:




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