Life in the RAF-The Reality
Squadron Leader Daniel Wober has been serving in the Royal Air Force for over twenty years. With a family of four, what consequences does his job have?
When asked what his average day was like he answered, “My job is a varied one. I could spend a lot of time in meetings, responding to emails, talking on the phone and I also have an exercise session at lunchtime. I return home at around 5:30pm but my work hours are from 8am to some time after 5pm.”
After hearing this, you may think Wober’s job is as uninteresting as the next person’s, but being in the RAF affects his family more than you might think.
We then questioned the squadron leader on how being in the military affects his family life. He told us, “It is difficult for my family as I have been away a lot over the years and my wife has been a single mum quite a lot. For example, two years ago I went to Qatar for six months. I was able to come back for a brief period over Christmas, but apart from that I didn’t get to see my wife and children at all. I really don’t get to see my family as much as I would like.”
We then asked the rest of his family for their views.
His son, Ben, answered with a simple, “It can be hard when Dad is away for long periods of time, otherwise I don’t really mind. I am very interested in his work and would like to be a pilot when I grow up.”
We also asked Mrs Wober for her views. She told us, “It can be quite disruptive for family life because every two years he is asked to move jobs. When my children were small I did not have Daniel’s help in the week because he was somewhere else in the country. It was even worse when he was told to go overseas on detachment when we didn’t see him for months at a time.” Mrs Wober also stated that, “There was also the additional worry whether it was a warzone he was sent to. He hasn’t been able to tell me some things; he was once sent out and wouldn’t tell me where he was going because it was a secret operation. That was a really worrying time.”
His daughter told us, “We don’t get to see him much in the holidays; it’s normally only a couple of days over half term and two weeks at Christmas and summer. He has missed my brother’s birthday and Christmas before.”
The Wober family has recently found out that Daniel will be put in a job that requires him to get a train to London for 08:00, and return home at 20:00 in the evening Monday to Friday. This job was given to him, not chosen by him. There is nothing that they can do to change it; that is the reality of military life.