Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Michelle Lennon has seen her husband embark on two tours of Iraq.
In 2003, when Warrant Officer 2 Sean Lennon was first posted to Basra, coalition action in Iraq had only recently ended and unrest in the city was rife.
By the time of his second tour in November 2008 as a member of 5th Battalion The Rifles, a reduced UK troop presence was based on the outskirts of the city and responsibility for security handed to Iraqis.
"In 2003, we didn't know what to expect," Mrs Lennon said.
"Now you tend to take it more in your stride because it's become the norm for troops to be sent away to Afghanistan or Iraq."
The couple, from Colchester, Essex, who have two daughters, have also found it easier to keep in touch.
In 2003, her husband was in recognisance and two weeks could go by before Mrs Lennon, 32, heard from him.
"He is now able to telephone most evenings if he wants to and we send e-mails almost every day," she said.
"This time it's been harder for the children because they understand what's going on. They realise he is going away for six months at a time," she added.
And living with safety concerns?
"I'm one of these people who will not worry until something happens," Mrs Lennon said.
"If I did, I would think about it constantly. Some people I know do that and it plays on their mind constantly and gets them down."