Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Have to Let Troops Finish the Job in Hand; the Weekend Saw a Suicide Blast in Afghanistan Take the Death Toll of British Soldies to 100 since 2001.GARETH DEIGHAN Finds out How Families Cope with Living Life at Home While Their Loved Ones Fight on the Front Line

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Have to Let Troops Finish the Job in Hand; the Weekend Saw a Suicide Blast in Afghanistan Take the Death Toll of British Soldies to 100 since 2001.GARETH DEIGHAN Finds out How Families Cope with Living Life at Home While Their Loved Ones Fight on the Front Line

Article excerpt

Byline: GARETH DEIGHAN

JOANNE Cowe is used to her Commando husband Michael leaving the family at home to fight on the front line - but the worry never goes away.

Last year Michael, who serves with the Royal Marines 42 Commando unit, was awarded the Military Cross after helping to save three soldiers blown up while in a vehicle on Afghanistan's frontline in Now Zad, Helmand province.

Joanne, who has been married to Michael for the past 11 years and has two children with him - Hannah, six, and Eleanor, two, said it is a constant worry when her husband is on a tour of duty.

And yet she accepts that is what he signed up to do and all the risks that come with it.

She said: "To me this is his job and that's what he has to do. When you are in the forces this is what happens.

"Our troops are the best trained in the world and they don't do all of that training to stay in this country not doing much.

"If something was to happen to him it would be awful. Awful for me, the girls and the rest of the family - but I would, personally, be more annoyed if they then pulled the troops out. I would think, what was the point?

"In my opinion, if we go in somewhere we should stay and finish the job. Otherwise it means that when the troops die or are injured, there was no point in going in the first place."

And, she said, the politics of situations like the war in Afghanistan - waged after the twin towers of the World Trade Centre were destroyed - was not something that concerned the troops themselves.

She said: "In a way the troops are pawns in the Government's game. But that is why they signed up.

"When Michael was a mechanic, he wasn't happy.

Then he joined the Marines and he loves it. You know what the risks are when you join."

In February last year Michael saw the Viking vehicle with three of his friends inside blown up after driving over a land mine. Taliban were firing directly at him as he and two other men heaved out their three colleagues and dragged them to safety around 500 metres away.

Joanne added: "It is dangerous when Michael goes on tour but I am not one of those people to sit around, mope and feel sorry for myself when Michael's away. …

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