Alexandra's Notebook

Taking the Plunge

I didn’t join the military thinking I’d have a life of adventure but, as it turned out, adventure found me anyway.

I was young, too young, and had to have my father sign the papers allowing me to join the Woman’s Royal Air Force at 17 years of age. A decision he had a huge part in suggesting given, at the time, I was in a constant battle with my menopausal mother. And, had I stayed, one of us would have ended up strangling the other.

A solution was found. My father told me there was a way I could keep my sanity, have a job, and get paid to do my studies, a dream my mother had quashed with, “if you’re going to live here you have to contribute to the household,” meaning, get a job you’re not going to university.

With my dream in tatters, my father steered me towards putting me somewhere I was very familiar with: the military. I was after all, a military brat, and had travelled across the planet with my parents, going from one country to another. And, knowing that life already, readily agreed with my dad here was the answer to all my problems.

So, rather than murder my mother, I signed up, took the oath, and left to pursue a different path. And, in doing so, had a whole different set of adventures, while earning my BSc along the way.