Have you been to the Falklands?

Yes, twice.  I don’t think I could have told this story adequately without visiting the Falklands.  One really has to see the barrenness of that terrain and how it exposes troops out in the open.  You have to stand against the frequent strong winds that buffet the islands.  Residents don’t get out of their cars there without holding on to their car doors!  Imagine being a soldier or marine out there for a month without any shelter, without even considering that someone would be trying to kill you.  I cannot describe adequately how helpless one can feel in the South Atlantic when forty-foot waves start smacking the ship you are on.  Imagine waves twice that size at times and that you are a sailor out there for three months as enemy planes are trying to sink your ship!  The Falklands is a very remarkable place, exceptional scenery and abundant wildlife.  But it is also a difficult place in a hemisphere that can be very unforgiving.  In the Falklands in 1982, there were no roads outside of the capital of Stanley.  Imagine what it was like trying to get supplies around the islands or to get casualties off the battlefield.  Those who go to the Falklands today will see how remote and tough it can be.  But they should remember that it is much more “modern” today than it was in 1982.  My visits to the Falklands changed my perspective on many things.

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