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Returning Home

  • Paul Twitchell
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


In theater, the abnormal becomes normal,

to get used to explosions,

get used to having mortar attacks,

get used to danger or the sense of danger

and the sense of urgency

and always having a weapon by your side.

Always having your kit there

and always looking out for your pals.

Then it comes to a grinding halt

when you return to the UK where it's very safe,

but you've got into habits of having

all these things to make you safe around you.

When you don't have to wear body armor every day

and you don't have to clean your rifle

and you don't have to make sure you've got ammunition,

then there's a void that needs to be filled.

I found that people, civilians,

not just civilians, military people at work

were moaning about the weather,

moaning about their drive into work and stuff like that.

And I used to think, wow, if only you knew.

Wow, if you could just go out there for a few weeks

and just witness it, then these

small things would not irritate you.

I know now that that's just normal life.

That's what people do and I do it myself.

But it was hard to deal with when returning, yes.

  • Paul Twitchell

    © RAF Museum

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