So here's the scenario - I'm joining soon (application all processed, everything successful, am waiting for The Call to start next course), my wife is highly supportive of what I'm doing because it's what I've always dreamed of (being an Army pilot), but she doesn't quite get the rest of the whole "Force" part of "Defence Force" thing. She doesn't think killing is justified ... ever. Free text convo follows: HER - I don't see why you have to join the Army to do this, why don't you just take out a loan and get your licence, then you can fly and you don't have to kill anyone ME - I'm joining the Army because I believe in helping people who can't help themselves, and I don't like bullies. HER - but I don't want you to kill anyone, I don't think it's right ME - what about self-defence? HER - no, not even then - you should be able to talk to the other person and sort it out peacefully ME - so if someone's coming at you with a gun, and you had a gun ... HER - I wouldn't have a gun! ME - ... if a gun HAPPENED to be right next to you, are you saying you wouldn't pick it up and defend yourself? HER - I think I would be able to talk to the other person and sort it out without resorting to violence? ME - what if you don't speak that person's language and they don't give a sh* tabout you - you're just there and they feel like popping you? HER - I wouldn't have got myself in that situation to start with. ME - okay, okay, what if you stop at a petrol station, and suddenly there are robbers who are not just robbing but shooting everyone - you couldn't have avoided that situation, and yet you are next, but there's a dead cop next to you with a gun in his belt. HER - no, I still think I'd find another way ME - what if the guy points the gun at your child and is about to pull the trigger? HER - that's different, I'd probably kill him - nobody threatens my children. If I couldn't do anything else I'd jump in front of them and try to protect them. ME - that's different? Okay, what if it's someone else's children? HER - I don't know, probably not - it wouldn't matter as much to me < I married this woman?> ME - it wouldn't MATTER to you? Wouldn't MATTER? <tries to calm down> Dear God .... <deep breath, 2, 3, 4> okay, see this is why I want to join the Army, doing something I am probably good at - I don't like bullies, and if someone out there is threatening someone who can't defend themselves, or shouldn't have to defend themselves, then I feel a basic human need to protect that person. I WILL NOT stand idly by and allow someone to kill innocent people if I can do ANYTHING about it, and if that means going overseas and stopping some a$$hole from killing someone ELSE'S children, someone ELSE'S wife, mother, whatever, then I would feel proud of having the chance to help them in that way. HER - I think you should leave the overseas stuff to the diplomats, they should negotiate something. ME - what about all the people who are getting killed while the diplomats chat? HER - you can't do anything about that, so why worry? ME - why WORRY? WHY WORRY? <tries to calm down> Those people think we Westerners are STUPID, they LAUGH at our inability to act, and if you give them any more time, they will be quite happy to go on murdering, killing and destroying as long as possible, until they are STOPPED, and the only thing they will respond to in the short term is looking down the barrel of a very large GUN. If their own life is on the line, they MIGHT stop. HER - well, I think the Army should just go in and assassinate the leaders who are doing those things ME - oh, so that sort of killing is okay? HER - it would be so much quicker, and maybe the rest of them would stop fighting if their crazy leader wasn't there any more ME - <mouth agape> ME - that's usually what the aim is anyway, is to neutralise the leader, like Saddam Hussein - the US spent months trying to get him without success. And Osama Bin Laden, they've been looking for him for ages, the other stuff will just keep going on around any of those operations. Besides, usually the only thing that does is put someone else in power who may be as bad or worse than the other ... just look at the Somalia debacle HER - well then we could help them to understand how to get along with each other ME - and we would do that by .... ? HER - well, we could go in and teach them ME - and by "go in" you mean .... "occupy", and therefore you are supportive of what we're doing in Iraq? HER - Iraq is different, we shouldn't be there ME - so what should we do now? HER - leave them alone ME - to keep killing innocent people HER - I just don't think WE should be killing anyone - it's just a mindless cycle ------ A bit like that whole bloody conversation - a mindless cycle. Do any of you have any frustrations like this that you've worked out a good way of handling?