I presented myself for a millitary recruitment exercise, some years ago. Of course I was nullified because of a weight issue. Apparently, I was below 55 kilograms, hence I could not carry a gun according to millitary experts. You might think I am so reluctant when it comes to eating, but no!, I eat more than most overweight folks, but still remain underweight by millitary standards.
As I sulked on my way home, I was sulking alongside fellows who had been turned back for having scars on their bodies. We comforted ourselves by speaking negatively about the millitary, that the millitary was dangerous, that you could easily get killed, that you could get very bad injuries, that they caned recruits, that the gun is heavy and can hurt your shoulders, that the boots are unhealthy for our feet, that the constant wearing of head gear could make you bald headed and Oh! That you will be forced to sleep in the bush where you could be bitten by snakes, not forgeting long periods of absence from your family, hence someone could easily snatch your wife, while you are busy ducking enemy bullets in some hostile hill or valley somewhere. We also claimed that you could be killed through what they call friendly fire by your fellow partners in combat. How comforting! Call it sour grape syndrome, but men, did we find comfort! Our negativity about the millitary, as a result of being turned back made us find some comfort. Finding comfort in negativity and numbers.
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But then, was it our fault? we honestly could not bring ourselves to understanding why one could be denied a chance in the millitary for having scars.
As far as I am concerned, people who have scars are adventurous and not careless as some people would like us to believe. They donot have an iota of fear when it comes to taking risks. They are not afraid to stand their ground when a push comes to a shove. They are ready to exchange blows when necessary, but I am not trying to market violence here, but isn't that what the millitary wants? Exchanging blows with the enemy huh!
Those are the reasons why a number of us were mad for being denied the chance to get into the barracks and handle guns. Who by the show of hands , does not think that guns are sexy? I wanted to be in, in order to become the next Rambo or Brucelee or Jackie chan. So that my kids could tell other children not to mess with them because their father is in the millitary.
I personally have a number of scars some where in less obvious areas in my body, so if my weight had not been an issue, I would still have been turned back due to the scars anyway. I also know of a number of friends who have more and worse scars than mine. Now, trust me when I say that none of those friends got those scars by spending time as a couch potato. They did not get them, while using play station or watching Tom and Jerry.
Amongst the people who have scars, I have seen some, who fell off some huge rocks while playing, as little children and they are still alive, with with some scars of course, but isn't rock climbing a sport in some parts of this country? Isn't that an indication of bravery? Ins't that an example of someone who can survive harsh terrain, scars or no scars?
I actually got one of my scars while chasing after some hare, with the hope of converting it into supper. If you have never tasted the hare's roasted meat you will not understand. I failed miserably because I ran into some stupid barbed wire fence, which threw me a few feet back, but I got up and walked away, as if nothing had happened. I only realized later that one of my arms had been cut. A cut which later graduated into a scar. And take note that I did not cry during the commotion. I was only trying to be a man and men apparently don't cry, even when they are burning within or rather they cry from the inside. And the hare? he or she got away. I missed the meat and I got a scar, but that should tell the millitary that I can chase after enemies of our nation without fear or favour.
I remembber one guy who dived into a shallow pool at the river, where else could it be? Our parents did not prioritize the construction of swimming pools. Food, clothing, shelter and education came first, so we had to create our own makeshift swimming pool by the river. They guy emerged from the pool limbing, because apparently, some enemy of development had thrown a few stones into our beloved pool. The enemy of development was probably an adult, who had missed the fun of swimming during childhood and now wanted to make the next generation to also miss out on the fun. Such courage and skill in diving was awsome and if you ask me, that guy should have been made to join Kenya Navy as soon as he cleared school. Of course he has a scar from the incident, but that should not be a big deal.
So, in every scar, I see bravery and not cowardice or carelessness, hence with our scars, we are ready to form the unfathomable force that will protect our country from external aggression.