Out in the Army: My Life as a Gay Soldier
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Seeking escape from the quiet Welsh countryside, James Wharton joined the British Army. Along the way, he faced a battle of his own: finding the courage to tell his fellow soldiers he is gay.
Written with searing honesty, James charts his incredible journey from punch bag to poster boy, along the way describing the tribulations of coming to terms with his sexuality. Late nights in the clubs of Soho to early mornings guarding the Queen; rocket attacks in Iraq to tank rides with Prince Harry on the plains of Canada—this is James's life out in the army.
lucky to have one very significant source of support. I had Thom. Thom had truly changed. He’d needed to do what I and a lot of other young gay people do when they first move to the big city. He needed to get everything out of his system and see what was around. Like me, he’d found that, actually, there wasn’t anything overly amazing about hitting the scene hard and making lots of new friends. As a result of our two-year break, Thom and I are stronger today than ever. I’m certain we’ll be
jeans and polo shirts. One or two, very worryingly, had tracksuit bottoms on. I hadn’t worn tracksuit bottoms since I was thirteen. Warren had turned up by the time we returned and was unpacking his belongings in the room Dean and I had thrown our bags down in hours before. It was nice to see him after our three weeks apart. That evening I met lots of new people. Most had little impact on me but a few of the new guys became amazing friends to me, and one or two of them over the course of the
murderer. The whole thing was cleared up in a matter of days. The husband was found and confessed to strangling the woman after rowing with her all morning. It’s the most infamous thing that’s ever happened in my home village to date. When Dad woke up in his hospital bed after being in a coma for a week-and-a-half, ten years of his life had disappeared. His memory was wiped and he’d woken up in a panic over being accused of murdering this poor woman. I thought he’d gone bonkers and it wasn’t
from the Royal Tank Regiment died when his vehicle, a Warrior, overturned, causing him to drown in his driver’s cab. It’s dreadful news and it’s really shook my inner nerves. I’m a driver in an armoured vehicle… It could easily happen to me. Tomorrow some general is walking around our camp so we’ve been really busy making the place look nice. Ridiculous! We’re supposed to be at war. If he asks me what I think, I’m going to tell him how pointless I think this whole thing is. Only one rocket
think it underlined the dangers associated with armoured vehicle tactics and the realism of training for war, maybe reigniting feelings he’d experienced earlier in the year while fighting in Afghanistan. In the hours that followed, after endless worrying, Harry told me to ‘man the fuck up and stop acting like a fanny’. Mid-exercise, Harry was called to a briefing along with the other commanders, reviewing the progress of the exercise. When he returned, he looked more than a little excited.