April 2003 #1

Who is he? I don't know his name but I'll call him James.

James used to like playing in the sandpit - like my sons did.
He used to be afraid of the dark - like my sons were.
James used to look so small in the playground - like my sons did.
His mum used to like the smell of his hair - like my son's mother did.
James never liked English but he always enjoyed science - like my son did.
His brothers would tease him mercilessly when he brought a new girl friend home - like my sons did.
James always dreamt of exotic lands and going there one day - like my sons do.
He always wanted a wife, children and a house of his own - like my sons do.
James never thought he might have to follow orders he didn't agree with.
James never thought he might have to really kill people.
James is not my son, but my sons, like him, have dreams and hopes and nightmares.
James, unlike my sons, hasn't been ordered into a war.
I hope he gets home alive.