In early 2003, as the Iraq war loomed, I was 14 and a member of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets. I wanted to be a helicopter pilot. Two nights a week, I would take the bus from the Southside of Edinburgh to a Territorial Army barracks where the cadets had a few rooms in the basement. Down the stone steps were a locker room, office, classroom, store cupboard and a drill hall we shared with the army. The rules and regulations were pinned on felt noticeboards on the walls, along with sign-up sheets for weekend exercises and pictures of the squadron out in the woods or standing next to aeroplanes.