Sunday, August 19, 2007

Luck

Liberal Life and Times points out the use of the word "unlucky", used by the military to describe today's death of a Canadian soldier:
Pte. Longtin, who hailed from the Montreal area, was the driver of a 2 Platoon Light Armored Vehicle, or LAV, and was simply unlucky, Charlie Company's officer commanding, Major Patrick Robichaud, said sorrowfully this morning.

This isn't the first time the military has used the reference, and I've heard it mentioned many times when we see a flurry of casualties. I remember one post, wherein it was pointed out that Canada was second only to the United States in coalition casualties, there was a response that argued it might be indicative of plain bad luck. Luck is a relative term I suppose, because in you want to characterize one incident as "unlucky", it is important to remember all the close calls, that get far less coverage, but translate to "lucky":
August 18:

Two Canadian soldiers were slightly injured after their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, the Canadian military said.

Both were riding in a Track Light Armoured Vehicle, or T-LAV, along Highway 1 as part of a supply convoy for Canadian troops when they drove over the bomb.

"I am relieved the track vehicle was armoured, and protected their lives," military spokesman Lieutenant-Commander Hubert Genest said.


August 13:

Five Canadian soldiers injured this weekend in a Taliban ambush are recovering quickly and were not seriously wounded, Canada's top military commander in southern Afghanistan said yesterday.

The soldiers were travelling in a supply convoy early yesterday morning when their RG-31 Nyala armoured vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED).

The convoy then came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades.

Brigadier-General Guy Laroche said two of the soldiers had already been released from hospital yesterday, and the other three had sustained minor injuries.

I bring up the latest incidents, only because we tend to forget the close calls, or minor injury attacks. When you look at how many incidents there are, whether it results in a death is more a question of probabilities than "unlucky".

4 comments:

Mentarch said...

The Americans are likewie being *very* unlucky in Iraq.

Having said this - I seem to recall an old proverb which says "You make your own luck" or somesuch.

What an interesting "gem of conventional wisdom" this is, no?

Mentarch said...

"likewise" - sorry for the typo ...

Anonymous said...

Luck has nothing to do with it when men are placed in a dangerous situation by the government.

What nonsense.

Steve V said...

I read this morning that 1/2 of all British soldiers in Afghanistan have sustained a injury during the current tour, much of which has been supressed. That is an amazing statistic.