I always wanted to join the army, maybe because I spent quite a lot of my growing up years in the barracks.
Four years ago I applied to the Nigerian Army as a Direct Short Service Commission (DSSC) officer. I had been waiting for years; to finish school and then for service year to end. I paid the required fee at the bank and proceeded to fill the application forms. Then I sent off the consent form for my father to sign.
There was a waiver I had to sign. If I died or got permanently injured during the military training, the army was not to be held responsible. The form I sent to my father had similar tones.
When you have to append your signature to your own ‘death warrant’, sacrifice takes on a whole new meaning. My father didn’t sign the consent form.
Sometimes I imagine what else I would have needed to sign if I been accepted and made it through the training.
I swoon when I see a man in uniform especially those young Navy hotties. But I realize that these are the men that stand between me and the threats that are becoming more real every day. Say what you will but Nigeria is at war, and despite all the stupid politicking and twisting of facts, the truth is there are men and women who signed their lives away knowing one day they will be called to lay them down. And they are keeping their promise. They are dying for Nigeria.
I read a tweet a few days ago from someone who said he met some army guys at the airport, begging for aid for the families of soldiers who had been killed by Boko Haram. I don’t know how true the story is, but this is Nigeria.
Here’s to all the men of the Armed Forces, those at the front lines and those behind, who took pens and signed their lives to the protection and service of all of us.