Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Please don't immediately think this is only a post about an Army officer's wedding because, when you read on, you'll find it's much more than that.
Mike and Kady Parke were married in England a week past Saturday, 1 October. It was a grand affair with a church wedding witnessed by 240 guests.
Let me tell you a little of the story. Mike Parke is 36 years old and joined the Army from school. He was soon recognised as being officer material and quick-marched to Sandhurst where he completed his officers training. He's what is known in military circles as a 'ranking officer' and those people are highly regarded by all personnel as they are few and far between. Mike then joined the Royal Signals, worked his way up the ladder and is now a Major. The signals are seconded to every area of military deployment.
This summer Kady, a senior cardiac nurse, and himself were finalising their plans for a small, quiet wedding on a Greek island next year, when their lives took a completely different direction. For a couple of months previously Mike had been complaining of headaches, which he eventually realised were nothing to do with his alcohol intake, so he consulted his GP. I'll leave him to tell you the story. It's an exceptional diary so do read the links in succession.
So often these days we hear marriage doesn't matter but this story shows the commitment of marriage is still strong. Hopefully it also gives a small insight into military life and how our armed forces pull together, regardless of rank. Some question why anyone would join today's military - I've wondered that myself - but trust, loyalty, respect and friendship are the values which hold our military together. We hear of some service personnel having difficulties adjusting to civilian life once they leave the services. Could it be that they see little evidence of these values in today's society?
Channel 5 News broadcast the following item on Friday.