Captain Whitney spotted a rare butterfly on a piece of blasted scrub outside the observation post he and his Company were occupying in war torn Lebanon.
It made him think of his schooldays, when he had been very keen on Nature Studies and Gym but not on Latin, and rather lucky that the Officer Training Corps had recognised his true if rather limited capabilities.
He moved stealthily over to the shrub, intending to cup the butterfly in his hands and bring it back to show to his men, as a slight but enriching interlude to the crisp tedium of military stalemate.
He was less than three meters from the post's sandbagged entrance, the butterfly encased in the soft, protective custody of his hands, when the rocket struck, obliterating his Company, his Observation Post and, through a wickedly twisted piece of shrapnel, both his arms to the elbow.
His wife went to work in a Garden Centre owned by a close friend.