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Horrified Onlooker

Veterans UK

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I am a veteran, and I suspect that I’m not the only one that posts here regularly. 

This isn’t a survey of who did/didn’t serve. But there is a certain difference in the way that vets are portrayed in the MSM. 

Everyone (almost) loves the Chelsea Pensioners and the vets marching past the Cenotaph in November. However when the same vets in the same berets & jackets are on a platform with TR, they are right wing extremists according to the MSM.

When a bunch of bikers with service/British Legion flashes walk into your pub/cafe how do you feel? Are they salt of the earth former servants of the state, or are they reactionary forces of middle England?

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Not served, but I have great respect for our armed forces and try to support them when I can. I was in the army cadets as a teenager, got to meet a lot of soldiers during those years, some fantastic memories which have influenced my character for life.

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Salt of the earth to my mind.

I am biased though because as a kid I desperately wanted to join the services but big bang (share trading deregulation) happened in the City when I was at college meaning it really took off and it became the place I wanted to be working so went there instead.

As I wanted to join but didn't I am mildly envious of anyone who did serve.

Though I did have a concern about having to start a new career from scratch in my forties.

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4 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Salt of the earth to my mind.

I am biased though because as a kid I desperately wanted to join the services but big bang (share trading deregulation) happened in the City when I was at college meaning it really took off and it became the place I wanted to be working so went there instead.

As I wanted to join but didn't I am mildly envious of anyone who did serve.

Though I did have a concern about having to start a new career from scratch in my forties.

Surely TA then?

You need to frame this 'serving' thing.

Since WW2, most of the people who'e 'served' have mainly 'hung around, eating KFC'.

Pre Blair, armed conflict for the plebs was pretty rare.

Post Bl;air, its less about serving and more about hanging around in shitholes waiting to be shot.

Unless you are are very active, which means being in the SF or the support groups, army is boring as fuck.

I was talking to my brother about armed forces day. Hes 'somewhere'. Again. His opinion was basically -

'WTF! They are shutting roads and stuff so that veterans of the catering corp can march around town, looking heroic!'

Hes only done a couple of remembrance sundays - both were in Aleppo when he was dragged off to stand with what was left of the british diplomatic services.

The biker thing is a bit wierd. It coems fro mthe states where biker gangs came out of the WW2 discharges.

In the UK Id guess they aer similar to the 'ex homeless living o nthe street' BS - i.e. normally a lie or, at best, an exaggeration of someone who dropped out/was kicked out after a couple of months.

Maybe remembrance and armed forces day should be restricted to people who saw active service?

Say you get a medal for active service.

 

 

 

 

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 Think it is probably a class thing too - the MSM do seem yo have contempt for not just the active and past forces of a lets say below a certain the rank and file level  but everyone else in a similar mould, Carl Benjamin nailed it in a recent video.

Meanwhile I suspect many in the forces are wondering what the hell is the point of serving your country when there is a rump in power and influence actively going about destroying it.

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TA wasn't an option up to 40 because none of my jobs to then were 9 - 5 and there was loads of business travel meaning there was no way I could commit to the regular time requirement they required.

That's not trying to glamorise it; as you are well aware there is little glamorous about business travel.

3 minutes ago, onlyme said:

 Think it is probably a class thing too - the MSM do seem yo have contempt for not just the active and past forces of a lets say below a certain the rank and file level  but everyone else in a similar mould, Carl Benjamin nailed it in a recent video.

Meanwhile I suspect many in the forces are wondering what the hell is the point of serving your country when there is a rump in power and influence actively going about destroying it.

Hence the shooting at a picture of Jeremy Corbyn.  Why risk your life to defend your country from being destroyed by external threats only to stand back and allow internal threats to destroy it.

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3 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

TA wasn't an option up to 40 because none of my jobs to then were 9 - 5 and there was loads of business travel meaning there was no way I could commit to the regular time requirement they required.

That's not trying to glamorise it; as you are well aware there is little glamorous about business travel.

Hence the shooting at a picture of Jeremy Corbyn.  Why risk your life to defend your country from being destroyed by external threats only to stand back and allow internal threats to destroy it.

Via a contact via another contact, I was talking about the requirement for huge bump up in technical skills and intelligence.

Most of the army operates around WW1 - still pretty much still horse charges.

Future of British forces centres around information and missiles and fast strikes.

There is limited use for 90% of the forces these days - we face no immediate threat from russia or china.

So, rather than preparing for the next/future wr, all the money is spent having a standing army doing make-work.

Any serious look at how the unspecial army performed in recent conflicts would conclude its pretty usless/pointless  -and dangerous for the poor fuckers operating in it.

ANyhow .. back to the beginning, the army needs to become more spooky and techival and a lto more nasty/devious.

Theres no point lining up squaddies in dress uniform to face an asymmetry enemy.

We need our own IEDS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, spygirl said:

Surely TA then?

You need to frame this 'serving' thing.

Since WW2, most of the people who'e 'served' have mainly 'hung around, eating KFC'.

Pre Blair, armed conflict for the plebs was pretty rare.

Post Bl;air, its less about serving and more about hanging around in shitholes waiting to be shot.

Unless you are are very active, which means being in the SF or the support groups, army is boring as fuck.

I was talking to my brother about armed forces day. Hes 'somewhere'. Again. His opinion was basically -

'WTF! They are shutting roads and stuff so that veterans of the catering corp can march around town, looking heroic!'

Hes only done a couple of remembrance sundays - both were in Aleppo when he was dragged off to stand with what was left of the british diplomatic services.

The biker thing is a bit wierd. It coems fro mthe states where biker gangs came out of the WW2 discharges.

In the UK Id guess they aer similar to the 'ex homeless living o nthe street' BS - i.e. normally a lie or, at best, an exaggeration of someone who dropped out/was kicked out after a couple of months.

Maybe remembrance and armed forces day should be restricted to people who saw active service?

Say you get a medal for active service.

 

 

 

 

Rememberance is about those that died, even the catering corps are allowed to show thier respect.

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3 minutes ago, snaga said:

Rememberance is about those that died, even the catering corps are allowed to show thier respect.

Well ... people who died in WW1, to be more exact.

 

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4 minutes ago, spygirl said:

Via a contact via another contact, I was talking about the requirement for huge bump up in technical skills and intelligence.

Most of the army operates around WW1 - still pretty much still horse charges.

Future of British forces centres around information and missiles and fast strikes.

There is limited use for 90% of the forces these days - we face no immediate threat from russia or china.

So, rather than preparing for the next/future wr, all the money is spent having a standing army doing make-work.

Any serious look at how the unspecial army performed in recent conflicts would conclude its pretty usless/pointless  -and dangerous for the poor fuckers operating in it.

ANyhow .. back to the beginning, the army needs to become more spooky and techival and a lto more nasty/devious.

Theres no point lining up squaddies in dress uniform to face an asymmetry enemy.

We need our own IEDS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about when they need to crush the inevitable civil uprising when the shit finally hits the fan?

That's more of a job for men with sticks than missiles.

xD

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Just now, SpectrumFX said:

What about when they need to crush the inevitable civil uprising when the shit finally hits the fan?

That's more of a job for men with sticks than missiles.

xD

Nah.

UK has never tried suppressing the plebs with the army as they know itll never work.

Something funny about UK history law and civil thing.

Suppressing the muzzers will work as none of the fuckers are in army. Or jobs.

 

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10 minutes ago, spygirl said:

Nah.

UK has never tried suppressing the plebs with the army as they know itll never work.

Something funny about UK history law and civil thing.

Suppressing the muzzers will work as none of the fuckers are in army. Or jobs.

 

There's no recent examples that I know of, but it has been done.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonypandy_riots

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6 minutes ago, Happy Renting said:

You really do talk BS sometimes.

Remembrance is for all who died in service.

So why did it start after WW1?

Lots of battles and whatnot before.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, spygirl said:

Surely TA then?

You need to frame this 'serving' thing.

Since WW2, most of the people who'e 'served' have mainly 'hung around, eating KFC'.

Pre Blair, armed conflict for the plebs was pretty rare.

Post Bl;air, its less about serving and more about hanging around in shitholes waiting to be shot.

Unless you are are very active, which means being in the SF or the support groups, army is boring as fuck.

I was talking to my brother about armed forces day. Hes 'somewhere'. Again. His opinion was basically -

'WTF! They are shutting roads and stuff so that veterans of the catering corp can march around town, looking heroic!'

Hes only done a couple of remembrance sundays - both were in Aleppo when he was dragged off to stand with what was left of the british diplomatic services.

The biker thing is a bit wierd. It coems fro mthe states where biker gangs came out of the WW2 discharges.

In the UK Id guess they aer similar to the 'ex homeless living o nthe street' BS - i.e. normally a lie or, at best, an exaggeration of someone who dropped out/was kicked out after a couple of months.

Maybe remembrance and armed forces day should be restricted to people who saw active service?

Say you get a medal for active service.

 

 

 

 

The catering corps aka RLC are usually the first in the field and the last out. Like all soldiers they are trained first and foremost to fight and there are plenty of anecdotes where they have been required to do so on supply runs (hint food and water doesn't just land in the kitchens). When I was in Iraq they frequently came under attack as it's an effective strike to the bellies of an enemy, we very nearly had to resort to emergency ration packs as they'd been specifically targeted over a two week spell and food stocks were running low... I knew it got serious when they'd stopped serving fresh croissant. 

Edited by longtomsilver

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7 minutes ago, longtomsilver said:

The catering corps aka RLC are usually the first in the field and the last out. Like all soldiers they are trained first and foremost to fight and there are plenty of anecdotes where they have been required to do so on supply runs (hint food and water doesn't just land in the kitchens). When I was in Iraq they frequently came under attack as it's an effective strike to the bellies of an enemy, we very nearly had to resort to emergency ration packs as they'd been specifically targeted over a two week spell and food stocks were running low... I knew it got serious when they'd stopped serving fresh croissant. 

Ok ok ok catering corp who never saw active service.

Army used to be a great training ground for short order chefs. 10 years service then out at 26 to a full-time cheffing job - cruises butlins whatnot.

 

 

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I think Veterans tend to get put on some sort of pedestal,   but I don't really understand the way some people fawn over them.

The military don't pay that well and some people come out with major life changing injuries / or in a box.   We definitely owe it to these people to make sure they and /or their families are well looked after (and I believe usually they are).   Anyone who has risked their life for the country also deserves some appreciation for that.

That said,   the only ex-military guy I know personally makes a big deal about being a vet, despite only serving about 2-3 years before getting shipped back from Iraq with what seemed suspiciously like a bullet related foot disorder.

He then immediately got himself out and joined the police instead which seems to suit him a lot better.  But he still makes a big deal about being a vet and complaining about all the Walter Mitty's..    which becomes a bit of a yawn fest to be honest.

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1 hour ago, spygirl said:

Ok ok ok catering corp who never saw active service.

Army used to be a great training ground for short order chefs. 10 years service then out at 26 to a full-time cheffing job - cruises butlins whatnot.

 

 

Working in a busy kitchen is probably the nearest thing to warfare that a civilian can experience.

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37 minutes ago, Libspero said:

I think Veterans tend to get put on some sort of pedestal,   but I don't really understand the way some people fawn over them.

The military don't pay that well and some people come out with major life changing injuries / or in a box.   We definitely owe it to these people to make sure they and /or their families are well looked after (and I believe usually they are).   Anyone who has risked their life for the country also deserves some appreciation for that.

That said,   the only ex-military guy I know personally makes a big deal about being a vet, despite only serving about 2-3 years before getting shipped back from Iraq with what seemed suspiciously like a bullet related foot disorder.

He then immediately got himself out and joined the police instead which seems to suit him a lot better.  But he still makes a big deal about being a vet and complaining about all the Walter Mitty's..    which becomes a bit of a yawn fest to be honest.

UKGOV owes it to any soldier who gets crippled in active service.

Brothers against Help for Heroes. Most are not heroes, jus tthe poor sap in a LR that went over a IED.

 

 

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I'm not a pacifist, but I am pretty much a non-interventionist. And everyone knows, or at least should know, that the basic point of joining the armed services, especially the army, is that at some point you will be asked to shoot at an enemy who will be shooting back at you and your comrades.

So I have the same level of sympathy for people who come out of the army physically or mentally wounded as I do for firemen who get fucked up by having to cut bodies out of cars, or paramedics watching stab victims bleed to death in front of them, which is to say some, but not much. That's the job, and you knew it when you signed up.

I'd quite happily have a system like the Swiss where (as I understand it, in undoubtedly simplistic terms) everyone does national service and then becomes a de-facto reservist, and I would fight to defend this country in the extremely unlikely event that it was ever invaded. But I don't think anybody is doing me any favours by intervening in other countries; quite the reverse, in fact, if you look at our record of interventionism since 9/11.

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37 minutes ago, Rave said:

I'm not a pacifist, but I am pretty much a non-interventionist. And everyone knows, or at least should know, that the basic point of joining the armed services, especially the army, is that at some point you will be asked to shoot at an enemy who will be shooting back at you and your comrades.

So I have the same level of sympathy for people who come out of the army physically or mentally wounded as I do for firemen who get fucked up by having to cut bodies out of cars, or paramedics watching stab victims bleed to death in front of them, which is to say some, but not much. That's the job, and you knew it when you signed up.

I'd quite happily have a system like the Swiss where (as I understand it, in undoubtedly simplistic terms) everyone every man does national service and then becomes a de-facto reservist, and I would fight to defend this country in the extremely unlikely event that it was ever invaded. But I don't think anybody is doing me any favours by intervening in other countries; quite the reverse, in fact, if you look at our record of interventionism since 9/11.

 

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12 hours ago, Horrified Onlooker said:

I am a veteran, and I suspect that I’m not the only one that posts here regularly. 

This isn’t a survey of who did/didn’t serve. But there is a certain difference in the way that vets are portrayed in the MSM. 

Everyone (almost) loves the Chelsea Pensioners and the vets marching past the Cenotaph in November. However when the same vets in the same berets & jackets are on a platform with TR, they are right wing extremists according to the MSM.

When a bunch of bikers with service/British Legion flashes walk into your pub/cafe how do you feel? Are they salt of the earth former servants of the state, or are they reactionary forces of middle England?

Didn’t serve but know a lot of people who did 

Growing in NI during the 70’s and 80’s I’m very pleased that brave men and women protected me from Corbyn’s “freedom fighting” mates 

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Posted (edited)

I was a civilian that worked with* rather than under (as it were).  

I think this puts me in a nice position of being hated by the general public (bloody military) and  by the military (bloody civilians).

I worked across services.  The British Army were always pretty decent -- a few knobs, but aren't there always.  RAF were more of a mixed bag -- mostly good, but a few too many that caused problems (not a 'pilot' thing, as the AAC were always excellent).  RN were probably good, but it was always very clear that the Navy was the Navy, and anyone else definitely wasn't.

Anyway, I think the British military have a tough time re public opinion in the UK -- I've been out with military personnel in other countries (USA especially, but also Anzacs) and they'll often get people coming up to them and 'thanking them for their service'.  It is a bit cringeworthy from a British perspective, but at least it is positive.  They'll also usually get the rank correct, which British people seemingly can't manage to do, ever.  These little things...   

I despair at the numbers you see at the local cenotaph every November.  It is the one little thing that we can do -- our understated equivalence of saying 'thank you for your service' -- but fewer and fewer can be bothered.  I guess we're all pacifists now -- which is always the 'right thing to be', until someone bad starts pointing a gun at you, at which point there's often a reconsideration of the value of a friendly military.

I do wonder about the legacy of the NI troubles for the public perception of the military.  See, in most countries soldiers hang around in fatigues quite a bit of the time, as it is part of their 'be seen' policy.  But during the 70's-90's they generally weren't allowed to in the UK, because of the risk of abduction/attack (apparently).  So we had a generation or so who never saw any military out and about (NI excepted).  I think this served to make the public forget all about the military, other than those living in garrison towns. 

I'm not sure what can be done at this point to improve the military's public profile in this country -- a situation not helped by successive governments and the media making the UK military out to be the enemy all the time.

[* I had a rank 'issued', but that was only so that they could work out what sort of room to give me.  I did, 'for a while', have an SA80 in the office safe, but never any rounds as 'that would be bloody dangerous'.  That rifle (and a few others in a similar situation) ended up being an absolute liability, for various reasons]

Edited by dgul

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