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to show my support for the Armed Forces

(215 Posts)
CuntPuffin Thu 23-May-13 11:52:12

Following yesterday's atrocious incident, I chose to wear a Help for Heroes shirt today. I have just been told off by a colleague, saying it was insensitive and inappropriate.

Bearing in mind I am ex-force as is my husband, I disagree and am proud to show my support for our Armed Forces. And told him this in fairly clear words.

Have I got this really wrong, or has he?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 23-May-13 11:53:28

YANBU if I had one I would wear it.

tomorowisanotherday Thu 23-May-13 11:54:28

it depends what attitude you are wearing with it

getyourheadout Thu 23-May-13 11:55:55

wear it and wear it with pride . he is so so wrong .

seeker Thu 23-May-13 11:57:44

"Following yesterday's atrocious incident, I chose to wear a Help for Heroes shirt today. I have just been told off by a colleague, saying it was insensitive and inappropriate."

It depends. Where do you work?

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 11:58:21

If you'd have worn it yesterday (ie before news broke), then keep wearing it.

Which I suspect is probably the case if you had one in the wardrobe.

But if it's not something you typically wear on a weekday, then I can see why it might provoke comment.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 11:58:45

"it depends what attitude you are wearing with it" !!!!! what does this mean?

I think that we should all support peace. The rioting and throwing bottles at the police trying to keep peace at the demonstration by the EDL, beggers believe, tbh and i am not a fan of the police.

There was a soldier recently killed in similar circumstances in Cyprus, by a Muslim Man from London, but originally from Somalia. From what i understand this is a small minority, who hope to become bigger, that are following an agenda. It does need addressing, but in the right way.

CuntPuffin Thu 23-May-13 12:01:29

tomorrow I didn't say anything. I put it on, I had a coat over the top coming to work as I was cold. I have been on phone calls most of the morning at my desk. He just said it as a conversation starter.

My 'attitude' is one of immense sadness for a young man's family and friends. Horror at the media handling of it. I assume your implication is that I am some kind of BNP thug. I am not.

Fookinell Thu 23-May-13 12:01:56

Wear your t shirt and BE PROUD to, don`t be dictated to by twats.

""it depends what attitude you are wearing with it" !!!!! what does this mean?"

Do you support the anti-social behaviour that is now happening? Do you support the racist crap that is being spouted? I would imagine that there are Muslim people who have left their houses this morning womdering if they are going to be abused in the street.

Raaraathenoisybaby Thu 23-May-13 12:03:37

Insensitive to whom though?

CuntPuffin Thu 23-May-13 12:04:15

I have done a lot of fundraising for H4H and have several tops/t-shirts. I work in an office with a casual dress code. I am nowhere near Woolwich.

Everyone here knows my background. In fact many of them have sponsored me for events for H4H.

Omnishambolic Thu 23-May-13 12:04:56

I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing it today, whether or not you would usually. Yes it's attention catching, but so what. So many people are donating to Help for Heroes today their website has crashed. Help for Heroes has become a way of expressing revulsion at yesterday and support for the Armed Forces, the victim and his family. Good for you.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 12:05:29

HFH is an amazing charity, by wearing the T-Shirt, irrelevant of if you have ever worn it before, just shows your support, a silent protest to say "we will not be broken". i am also ex forces and would wear mine with Pride.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 12:08:37

"Birdsgottafly

Do you support the anti-social behaviour that is now happening? Do you support the racist crap that is being spouted? I would imagine that there are Muslim people who have left their houses this morning womdering if they are going to be abused in the street."

Not at all, are you saying that if i were to wear my HFH T-Shirt that i am some sort of thug! what a very weird view of the world.

anklebitersmum Thu 23-May-13 12:12:07

Wear it with pride. As you should.

CuntPuffin Thu 23-May-13 12:12:12

spacefrogg I think birdsgottafly was referring back to the person who originally started talking about 'attitude' further up there ^^

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 12:14:22

Arg right sorry birdsgottafly

tomorowisanotherday Thu 23-May-13 12:14:34

I'm really quite concerned by some of the comments I'm reading here and on FB following the Woolwich atrocity. Here's a few of our home grown, respectable white serial killers:

Mick Philpott, Ian Huntley, the Moors Murderers, Harold Shipman, Fred & Rose West, Dennis Nilsen, the Yorkshire Ripper, Beverley Allitt. White people killing white people, and in some cases, not just cutting off their heads, but completely butchering them. There are dozens more I could have listed.

The aim of atrocities like this is to create hostility between communities, and judging by some of the comments I'm reading, it's beginning to work

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 12:14:58

Yesterday's events were terrible, no question. But the increasing fetishisation of the military makes me uncomfortable. Besides, there is an argument to be made that if proper statutory provision were put in place for wounded servicemen, then there would be no need for charities like Help The Heroes.

Apart from all that, wearing slogan t-shirts/tops to work is never ok, in my book.

tomorowisanotherday Thu 23-May-13 12:15:42

I don't mean on this particular thread......

but I support peace... for all

Space, it isn't my view of the world, there have been attacks on the police, the other public body who protect us from terrorism, by people wearing these t-shirts.

The racisim that is being whipped up, needs to be quelled by everyone and is being addressed by the charity. I think that any actions, as well placed as they are, that can add any fuel to the fire, should be thought out carefully and possibly decided against.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 12:19:37

I am not sure how due to the horrible situation yesterday, wearing a H4H T-Shirt has become a taboo!!

Also what does this mean "fetishisation of the military" - does it mean your concerned by the gorwing support for our Armed Forces of have i got it wrong SkylerWhite.

MadBusLady Thu 23-May-13 12:20:06

I am a complete woolly liberal and there is nothing wrong with a H4H shirt. Your colleague isn't thinking this through properly. It's good that people are expressing their sorrow through a legitimate, peaceable charity with no political agenda.

If you'd gone in wearing a t-shirt with just a Union Jack or England flag on it they would have a point, because it is clearly a pointed political statement.

NeedSomeSun142 Thu 23-May-13 12:21:13

YANBU!

I'm sure there will be many more people wearing there H4H shirts today. To be honest what's it got to do with any one else what you decide to wear, don't tell me it's racist or 'insensitive' to wear a H4H shirt now?!

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 12:21:51

I understand that there are thugs about using this as an excuse to spread hatred and the fact they have chosen to wear the H4H T-Shirts does not mean everyone else who supports H4H or wears their T-Shirts does not mean they are also in the same league.

MadBusLady Thu 23-May-13 12:22:17

does it mean your concerned by the gorwing support for our Armed Forces of have i got it wrong SkylerWhite.

Well, now that you put it like that, I think that's odd. Why do the armed forces need "growing support"? They do a job, they get paid, same as everybody else. It's like saying there's "growing support" for forklift truck drivers.

MadBusLady Thu 23-May-13 12:24:08

And it is very sad that thugs are wearing H4H t-shirts, by the way. But that isn't H4H's fault.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 23-May-13 12:24:37

MadBus they need support to access MONEY when they have been injured or traumatized ffs. NOt only money but other things like councelling and after care.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 12:25:46

"Well, now that you put it like that, I think that's odd. Why do the armed forces need "growing support"? They do a job, they get paid, same as everybody else. It's like saying there's "growing support" for forklift truck drivers."

Do you even understand what our Armed forces do!, put it this way, they put their lives on the line day in day out for YOU, even if you support them or not. Without them both the 1st and 2nd world wars would of ended very, very differently. Also look at the Faulklands, the people there would of been kicked out of their own country and sent back hear.

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 12:27:01

spacefrogg1 yes, I think armed forces deserve the exact same level of support as police officers, nurses, firemen, any other public servants, really. No more, no less. They get paid for the job that they do, and if they get injured in the course of that job, they should be adequately compensated by the state. NOT by the general public.

And as for fetishisation of the military, I actually think it's a big part of the military industrial complex which keeps us locked into massive defence budgets. Being a soldier, being an injured ex-serviceman, does not automatically make you a hero. It devalues the term, imo.

MadBusLady Thu 23-May-13 12:27:18

hmm Er yes Neo I am fully in favour of servicemen and women who have been injured or traumatized receiving any and all compensation and help they need. There's no need to "FFS" me. But people here seem to be talking about "support" for the Armed Forces in general terms, the same way you'd "support" a football team, and I don't really get that.

Jan49 Thu 23-May-13 12:28:56

I think wearing a t-shirt with words on in an office will almost always be inappropriate and unprofessional. But I don't think it's insensitive to wear it today.

I share the feeling of concern about the way the military is sometimes represented, in a very 'you must be with us and if you're a pacifist you're against us' way.

But I wouldn't have interpreted a 'Help for Heroes' T Shirt like that at all. In the context, to me it would just seem like a gesture of support. I wouldn't normally be terribly comfortable with referring to all military as 'heroes', but I thought this charity was for people who have been wounded and need help? To me anyone struggling like that is heroic and it is appalling that a charity is needed and that they're not being properly supported anyway.

I suppose if the colleague thinks all vaguely political slogans are inappropriate, he might have a bit of a point - because casual dress doesn't mean the same as being allowed to display political affiliations - but I reckon if you're allowed to wear other charity badges or anything similar, he shouldn't really have made a fuss.

madbus is spot on saying the problem is with thugs wearing these T shirts, not the T shirts themselves or H4H.

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 12:29:31

spacefrogg there is a massive difference between the general conscription which was in place in the 1st and 2nd World Wars, and the voluntary service which the armed forces sign up for now. It's a job; they get paid. If they don't want to do it, they don't have to enlist.

Lovecat Thu 23-May-13 12:29:49

I'm with Skylerwhite and MadBusLady tbh, I find the growing glorification of the Armed Forces in this country and the idea that if you question it at all you're not a true patriot/must hate your country both oppressive and dodgy.

I also wish that Help for Heroes didn't need to exist and that properly funded provision for our wounded servicemen & women was the norm.

That said, I don't see a problem with wearing a t-shirt supporting a charity. Unfortunately some people, egged on by the media, use H4H as a blanket ' all servicemen/women are heroes' tag rather than look at the true purpose of it as a charity for the wounded. Hence my discomfort.

MadBusLady Thu 23-May-13 12:30:01

Space Yes. But bus drivers get me around all day, cleaners clean the places I work in, bin men take my rubbish, doctors study medicine, scientists make breakthroughs and teachers teach to make my life easier - no, not easier, bearable.

So while I'm grateful in a generalised sense that there are people who do all these jobs, I don't see why any particular group merits my flag-waving "support" more than any other (charitable donations etc excepted, as I said before).

spacefrogg - not in my name, thank you.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 12:33:18

SkylerWhite clearly you do not know anything about the forces. for example they are not at the same level as Police Officers, Fire Service etc because they get paid double. for examples i served 6 years in one of the most Elite regiments in the world and i was only paid £16k. I even paid tax whilst working over seas on operations. Yes we are not heroes but you would be the first to scream if they dispanded the Forces and left you to fend for yourself.

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 12:34:14

Yes we are not heroes but you would be the first to scream if they dispanded the Forces and left you to fend for yourself.

Really? How do you know that?

You don't know that, space.

And accusing other people of ignorance isn't very fair. People have made comparisons to the police and other workers, not said they were at the 'same level'.

Not everyone feels ok about what the military has done in recent years. Not even everyone I know in the military feels ok about it.

Wearing a Help for Heroes T Shirt isn't something I'd usually choose to do, but right now a bit of compassion is required and I think it's a nice gesture. But the more people get into polemic about the military, the less many people are going to feel able to make that sort of gesture without feeling they're aligned with extremists and thugs. Which is incredibly sad.

WilsonFrickett Thu 23-May-13 12:42:16

I think his point is you are choosing to make what is - today - a political statement in your workplace. It probably wouldn't have crossed anyone's mind to have viewed wearing a HFH t-shirt as a statement before yesterday, but today is different. So you are, imo, making a political statement through your clothing and no, I don't think that's appropriate in the office. Whatever the statement is.

And fwiw, I support HFH.

stickingattwo Thu 23-May-13 12:44:41

YABU.

Ilovemyself Thu 23-May-13 12:46:41

I don't see the link between " our homegrown killers" and yesterday's events.

The people yesterday were doing it as an attack on our armed forces, and our country.

I have always been against our troops being in Afghanistan and Iraq but I support our troops 100%. They are only following orders.

Are we wrong to want to see those that want to attack our way of life, and use violence in the name religion imprisoned, or in the case of foreign nationals deported. When are our rights as innocent people to go about our lives without attack going to be more important than those who want to preach hatred.

Lovecat Thu 23-May-13 12:47:58

eh?

I don't think anyone has said that, Ilovemyself confused

stickingattwo Thu 23-May-13 12:48:06

YABU. It's not appropriate to make political statements like that in an office.

I also think that this whole @Help for Heroes@ thing is ridiculous, suddenly everyone in a uniform is a hero, clearly not true, and takes away from the real heroes who go above in all walks of life.

cory Thu 23-May-13 12:53:07

Agree with every post by LRD.

It was a horrible, horrible thing to happen and there is no way it can be defended. It was a shocking and disgusting act of violence and my heart goes out to the dead man's family and his fellow soldiers.

But it does not mean that we have to think that all the (mainly non-defensive) wars fought by the British army in the last 50 years have actually made us safer. Many thoughtful people, including some experts on international politics, protested against the Iraqi war on the grounds that it would make the world less politically stable. If you believe that, then you won't feel obliged to look on British soldiers as heroes who have saved you.

You can still think it is absolutely shitty that they have to rely on charity to provide the care that the government who sent them out is unwilling to pay for. I do think that: I think it is absolutely indefensible!

Soldiers do have a hard time in British society, they are not adequately cared for, they are not given enough medical and emotional support. But I do not think those of us who said "Please don't send them in the first place" should feel morally obliged to pay for it. The governments who sent them should.

cory Thu 23-May-13 12:55:53

Ilovemyself, I think there is some suggestion that the present killers (at least one of them) were not foreign born but British. They were both black, so presumably not from any of the Middle Eastern countries involved in recent wars. We have not yet had it confirmed that they are not mentally ill people tagging on to a cause that suits their mental instability.

CuntPuffin Thu 23-May-13 12:58:30

I have worn it to work before, many times. No one has ever commented before. In fact, given that I sit at a desk where no one has to even walk past me, it's not as if I have drawn attention to myself. Colleague stood up and looked over a partition before he even noticed what I was wearing.

I have met many more H4H supporters who are opposed to the Afghanistan/Iraq situations than I have being pro.

I am a member of my company's diversity forum, so hardly likely to be a radical anti-Islamist/racist etc.

StillSeekingSpike Thu 23-May-13 13:03:25

Ilovemyself- supporting our armed forces because they are 'only following orders' sounds a bit like the Nuremberg defence [shocked]

You might have worn it to work before, but today, there is a sensitive situation, that needs careful handling, happening, that is why the COBRA meeting has taken place.

Public statements have had to be made from varioyus organisations.

As a member of your companies diversity forum, you should be well aware of the possible connotations of you wearning the t-shirt and why is not the time for any actions that can be mis-construed or used by those following a anti-social agenda.

cherryade8 Thu 23-May-13 13:07:44

Yanbu. Wear it with pride.

NeedSomeSun142 Thu 23-May-13 13:11:11

I didn't think Help for Heroes was a 'political statement' I thought is was a charity?

HeySoulSister Thu 23-May-13 13:13:00

I don't see how its a political statement either

CuntPuffin Thu 23-May-13 13:17:29

I am not a member of COBRA or making a public statement. hmm

It is a top with a small logo on it. I have never met anyone who uses H4H as a political statement in the way that has been suggested here.

Oh well. I am now going to leave this thread as it seems that what to me was a simple act of thought for the young man, his family and friends has been completely misunderstood.

It's a political statement because it is expressing support for a particular group and, implicitly, a particular set of values.

Wearing a breast cancer ribbon is hardly a political statement, because no-one believes that it's a good thing to die of cancer.

Wearing an anti-abortion (or pro-life) symbol is a political statement, because there is disagreement over the issue.

Same thing here, IMO.

However, I think if the OP has worn this shirt before and no-one complained, she might email this bloke and explain gently that this is a cause she has supported for a long time, she's worn the shirt to work often before, and she was surprised by his comments. That will give him a chance to think through his reaction.

I can see the argument for all political statements being inappropriate at work, but I also reckon if thugs are wearing these shirts, it is a good thing that someone like the OP, who supported the cause before all of this, is demonstrating that these thugs are co-opting the charity, and the charity itself is still exactly what it always was, a source of support.

Sorry, I cross posted, I wasn't randomly talking about you in the third person.

FoofFighter Thu 23-May-13 13:19:53

I don't think YWBU but I can see how someone might think it was, just as the St George cross has been hi-jacked by people such as the EDL for extremist reasons, I can see that the whole forces support, H4H wearing can/will/has already been too. Not a reason to not wear one yourself of course but worth bearing in mind if you don't want to be tarred with the same brush.

BTW anyone wanting to donate some money - Help for Heroes isn't the only charity (especially if people cannot get through) there is also the Army Benevolent Fund http://www.soldierscharity.org/

specialsubject Thu 23-May-13 13:21:19

all those whining about defence budgets and the military - check your family history. Unless you are 100% white European, you would not have existed if things had gone differently in WWII, because your parents would have been gassed and you would never have been born.

the enemy is now different - but it is the military that stops something similar happening again. While there are some conflicts in which it is maybe unwise to be involved, that is the big picture.

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 13:22:18

It's moderately political.

There are a lot of people who don't agree with enlisting in the armed forces given how disastrous the UK's involvement has been in Iraq/Afghanistan, etc. As long as there's no draft, the soldiers are making a choice to get involved in this endeavour.

We're a long way off from an armed forces that merely protects our borders. That's why it's political.

threesypeesy Thu 23-May-13 13:22:57

YANBU wear it with pride and a symbol of solidarity that our country will not be beaten by terrorists

Personally who ever said anything negative against it is a twat!!

I think our troops should be supported all the time after all these men and women do for or country they are true heros.

Ilovemyself Thu 23-May-13 13:23:42

Stillseekingspike - we live in a democracy and we are able to speak our minds - unlike Nazi germany. And we can vote for someone who will take our troops out of the situation. ( if the party existed!)

As someone with family in the forces, I see no reason why we cannot support our forces as they would be there to lay their lives on the line to protect civilians in the UK if we needed it.

Saltire Thu 23-May-13 13:24:20

There is also the Royal naval benevolent fund
here,
the RAF Beneveolent fund here,
as well as charities such as Royal british legion (and RBL Scotland)and SSAFFA,

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 13:25:11

Yes, anyone who criticizes the military is a twat. Another brilliant observation from threesypeesy.

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 13:25:38

Oh dear. This thread has taken turn down a Godwin's Law cul-de-sac.

all those whining about defence budgets and the military - check your family history. Unless you are 100% white European, you would not have existed if things had gone differently in WWII, because your parents would have been gassed and you would never have been born.

I'm sorry, but what an absolute pile of horseshit.

Check your basic history of WWII and a map.

You have no idea what might have happened in WWII, and especially, you have no idea whether, had we not got into WWI, the whole thing might not have happened.

I find it really disrespectful to bring the Holocaust into a discussion like this.

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 13:28:21

As someone with family in the forces, I see no reason why we cannot support our forces as they would be there to lay their lives on the line to protect civilians in the UK if we needed it.

You'd have to be a moron to not support this. What people don't support is the misadventures in the middle-east, which are decidedly dangerous for the people of the UK (not to mention the poor sods over there).

WilsonFrickett Thu 23-May-13 13:29:39

If you are a member of your company's diversity forum then you should be aware of how you are presenting yourself. What if a Muslim member of staff had been subject to bullying comments today and wanted to talk to you about it as a member of the diversity forum? Rightly or wrongly, s/he would form an opinion about your opinions about yesterday from the shirt you're wearing.

I absolutely get that you have worn the top previously with no problems, but I think today is different.

threesypeesy Thu 23-May-13 13:30:47

crowler shhhhhh there a doll!!

Those men and women fight daily for this country and should be supported for it those who want to stick up for those who attack them a vile

Both myself and dh give alot to help for heros it's a charity that has always been close to our hearts.

Nelly000 Thu 23-May-13 13:30:47

There are a lot of people who don't agree with enlisting in the armed forces given how disastrous the UK's involvement has been in Iraq/Afghanistan, etc. As long as there's no draft, the soldiers are making a choice to get involved in this endeavour.

How idealistic.

What about all the soldiers that joined up when the threat was all in Northern Ireland? Soldiers sign up for minimum terms. What if theirs isn't done? They can't just say 'I don't mind going to Northern Ireland, but no I don't fancy doing Iraq/Afghanistan thanks' you know??

What if a soldier had 22 years service and was told to deploy to Afghanistan. If it were you, would you quit and lose the gratuity/pension that you've worked for for 22 years?

How about the soldier that doesn't feel he has a choice to join because he doesn't have a decent education and it's a 'career'; since he's been told if he sits on his arse on benefits he's scum?

Nelly000 Thu 23-May-13 13:32:07

Pressed 'post message' too soon.

OP - no, I don't think you are being unreasonable wearing a HFH t-shirt and I'm astounded anyone would say you are.

Erm ... did you mean to come across as if you were calling people on this thread vile, threesy?

^I find the growing glorification of the Armed Forces in this country and the idea that if you question it at all you're not a true patriot/must hate your country both oppressive and dodgy.

I also wish that Help for Heroes didn't need to exist and that properly funded provision for our wounded servicemen & women was the norm.

That said, I don't see a problem with wearing a t-shirt supporting a charity. Unfortunately some people, egged on by the media, use H4H as a blanket ' all servicemen/women are heroes' tag rather than look at the true purpose of it as a charity for the wounded. Hence my discomfort.^

This. This. This.

halestone Thu 23-May-13 13:34:16

Puffin YANBU, infact i think instead of listening to the racist BS about Islam, wearing H4H clothing or donating to H4H or The Royal British Legion, is showing support for the soldier and his family.

As for other PP you are entitled yo your opinions but IMO, the Armed Forces do a very important job. The fact that they volunteered to do that job has nothing to do with it. They see and do things that many people will never (thankfully) have to experience. IMO we should be grateful to them and to show them some respect is the least we can do.

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 13:37:02

Showing respect for members of the armed forces doesn't mean pretending they are all heroes, imo.

Exactly Skyler I remember when the story broke about the soldiers pissing on the bodies of insurgents. I posted the story with the generic, 'this is disgusting' title and got a ton of abuse from people on facebook about being 'with them or against them' hmm

threesypeesy Thu 23-May-13 13:40:37

If you have a problem with those who support the amazing men and women that make up our services then yes, I hope many like yourself op are showing their support to this atrocious act of violence against that poor soldier

noddyholder Thu 23-May-13 13:42:53

I saw someone wearing one today and another oaf wearing a union jack hoody. Idiots

EldritchCleavage Thu 23-May-13 13:43:58

What if a Muslim member of staff had been subject to bullying comments today and wanted to talk to you about it as a member of the diversity forum? Rightly or wrongly, s/he would form an opinion about your opinions about yesterday from the shirt you're wearing

What opinion though, except for a quiet expression of compassion for the dead man? I don't think Muslims or black people are going to be reacting negatively to H4H T-shirts per se.

I don't understand some of the comments about the military on this thread. People often express support for them in a way I wouldn't (sentimental 'Our Boys' stuff) but I don't know why disagreement with the wars they are fighting should translate to lack of support for the people doing the fighting.

We are a democracy in which our armed forces fight the wars they are directed to fight by the government, regardless of how any of them feels about those wars. So it seems entirely rational to me that people recognise them for the incredible risks they run and the suffering of the dead and wounded regardless of whether the wars are considered legitimate or not.

And don't let anyone fool you into equating the military or expressing appreciation for the military with a certain kind of boorish white male EDF tendency. There are increasing numbers of BME Britons and people from Commonwealth nations in the Army in particular. The Army no longer looks quite how the thug faction that fetishises it would like it to look.

halestone Thu 23-May-13 13:45:43

I'm pretty sure i didn't refer to all of our armed forces as being Heroes. I just said that i think we should show them some respect. Maybe by not devaluing their jobs just as i hope no-one would devalue yours. At the end of the day they are doing a job where they are trained to protect and i for one am grateful for each and everyone of them.

MadBusLady Thu 23-May-13 13:48:05

The sentimental stuff is the only bit I find problematic. Mostly because, as this thread demonstrates, it has its ugly side.

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 13:48:39

Nellie, you have to take some accountability for your job. That's just simple.

I agree that kids join the military often out of lack of choice. Another reason I disagree with the military.

Sheesh this continual parroting of "respect the men and women who are defending you!" OK sure, but guess what - they're not defending us at the moment! The military is slowing eating away at our freedoms and safety by the day.

I will proudly salute any man or woman who defends this or any country against foreign aggression. That's heroic.

To be honest, I don't think it's people who have reservations about recent wars who're 'devaluing' soldiers' jobs. I lay that charge at our governments, who've got us into these wars and who have now created the need for a charity to pick up the tab for the wounded.

NeedSomeSun142 Thu 23-May-13 13:50:47

I don't see how wearing a Union Jack hoody Or wearing a t-shirt with a charity logo on makes someone an idiot? It's basically the same as calling someone who wears a burka an idiotic, because the are expressing their culture. Wearing a hoody with a logo of where you are from does not make you an idiot.

Political correctness gone wild again.

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 13:52:26

Surely the cost of looking after wounded soldiers is a cost of going to war. Just buy 2 or 3 fewer missile launchers. Unbelievable that this actually exists.

CelticPixie Thu 23-May-13 13:53:15

I said on here yesterday that I think a lot of people in the UK have become very soppy about the armed forces in this country. Don't get me wrong they do a brilliant job and I personally couldn't do it, but I find his labelling of them all as "heroes" really stomach churning. How are they heroes? They are doing a job that they signed up for.

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 13:54:04

Strictly speaking, the Union Jack is an expression of nationalism while the burqa is an expression of religion. Two different things.

anklebitersmum Thu 23-May-13 13:55:04

FLAG. FLAG. FLAG.

hmm

threesypeesy Thu 23-May-13 13:55:29

Coments like above must make those servings stomachs turn to know they risk life and limb for the likes on here that have no respect.....shameful! !!

Nelly000 Thu 23-May-13 13:56:35

You have to take some accountability for your job

Well yes, I do. Because I can say no if someone asks me to do something I don't want to do and the worst that will happen is I will get a telling off.

But I guess the point you're trying to make is that soldiers (and sailors and airmen/women) have to take accountability for their job.

You spectacularly miss the point. If they say no, they go to jail. You can't honestly be advocating that almost 400,000 do that... can you?

anklebitersmum Thu 23-May-13 13:56:59

x post threesy? grin

threesypeesy Thu 23-May-13 13:57:00

Coments like above must make those servings stomachs turn to know they risk life and limb for the likes on here that have no respect.....shameful! !!

Nelly000 Thu 23-May-13 13:57:14

400,000 people

Saltire Thu 23-May-13 13:58:24

Is there 400,000 left in the Armed Forces hmm.

Nelly000 Thu 23-May-13 14:00:09

Just about, including reservists.

Probably not for much longer though.

NeedSomeSun142 Thu 23-May-13 14:00:55

Which brings another point, as it appears the murderers were Muslim (yes i know extremists), shouting Allahs name while attempting to chop the innocent mans head of, will innocent Muslims feel guilty about wearing their religious clothing?

I doubt it, so why are people being made to feel guilty about wearing a charity hoody, t-shirt,or whatever they happen to pick Out of there wardrobe on this particular day.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 14:01:31

Nope.

According to DASA, in 2012 the required strength was just under 175,000 and actual strength just over 170,000 for all three Services.

Nelly000 Thu 23-May-13 14:01:39

^Just about, including reservists.

Probably not for much longer though.^

387,720 according to that veritable bastion of truth, Wikipedia

ivykaty44 Thu 23-May-13 14:02:33

terrorist by there name want to strike terror into our lives and stop us from going about our daily business as normal.

By wearing a t shirt you have in your wardrobe you are going about your daily business as normal and not letting the terror of what happened yesterday beat you

good

as for your colleague he/she is running scared and letting the terrorist win

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 14:02:51

Plus reservists, sorry, another 35,000.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 14:03:16

Crowler - "
Sheesh this continual parroting of "respect the men and women who are defending you!" OK sure, but guess what - they're not defending us at the moment! The military is slowing eating away at our freedoms and safety by the day."

Really, so we disband the forces and then what, magically create an army to save us from invasion from an aggressor. It does not work like that. It takes years & years of specilaist training to be at the level our forces are. Also how are our forces slowly eating away at our freedoms and safety? i for one sleep soundly knowing how good are forces are.

WilsonFrickett Thu 23-May-13 14:03:30

I don't think Muslims or black people are going to be reacting negatively to H4H T-shirts per se.

Maybe not Eldritch, and I do hope not. But I would not have liked to be a Muslim walking home through Woolwich last night while the EDL 'showed their respect.'

I suppose what I'm trying to say is what I said in my first post - it's a workplace. What if tomorrow someone 'shows their respect' by wearing a full union flag shirt?

And threesy FGS. Respect does not equal slavish devotion, or sentimentality. Our forces do a good job. I respect that. Doesn't mean I don't get to question their actions or purpose.

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 14:03:55

I agree. I am as appalled by the murder of the young man in Woolwich as everyone else is. However I have never thought someone is a hero simply because they have chosen to join the armed forces. I don't support them or not support them any more than I did yesterday morning.

However I am so sad for the poor young man, and very disturbed by the hatred the murder has already provoked.

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 14:05:17

Can you answer my question to you, spacefrogg1?

noddyholder Thu 23-May-13 14:05:32

I was brought up in Northern Ireland and so that has probably altered my perception of these 'heroes'. They are not defending us btw if you want to be pedantic Crowler is correct. I feel nothing but sadness for the victim of this awful attack but the subsequent nationalist BS is just as dangerous.

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 14:07:41

Nelly. The soldiers are "forced" to Afghanistan, etc because crucially, they enlisted in the army! Just curious, how many soldiers do you know who object to the multiple conflicts we're currently engaged in?

Spacefrogg. I think what you're saying is that these wars are practice for defending our borders if necessary. Am I correct?

EldritchCleavage Thu 23-May-13 14:11:10

The flag thing has changed in recent years, thank God.

Time was you knew to give anyone wearing the Union or St. George's flag a wide berth (I'm bi-racial, and speaking from personal experience). Now, lots of perfectly nice ordinary people do it, including black and Asian people. There has been a reclaiming.

Mostly, there is a kind of bigot-radar that means you generally manage avoid the people you need to avoid. It's more nuanced than 'Oh, you're wearing our national symbol, you must be a racist.'

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 14:11:30

whats your question? SkylerWhite

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 14:14:02

spacefrogg1

You stated: 'Yes we are not heroes but you would be the first to scream if they dispanded the Forces and left you to fend for yourself.'

I replied: 'Really? How do you know that?'

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 14:15:34

Crawler the wars are not practice but real wars where people on both sides are loosing lifes. Now it will be very hard for people like you to understand the work the forces are doing in these countries because you only have the mdia to go off. Now i served in Iraq in 2003, I crossed the boarder with all of my commerades wondering the the fuck we were there. Whilst i was there i helped people open schools, open Oil Fields, help people who have broken down etc.

Now the soldiers do not choose to go on deployments but when we are there we do it beliving we are doing it for the right reasons.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 14:17:58

SkylerWhite - because i have seen it before. if our country was invaded can you honstly say you would welcome the foreign army with open arms or would you expect to defend your Country?

If opening schools and helping people were all the army were doing in Iraq, I would be 100% behind them. Sadly it isn't.

Not sure how you can talk about skyler defending our country when you must be fully aware that in Iraq, you are that foreign army. confused

niceguy2 Thu 23-May-13 14:20:58

OK sure, but guess what - they're not defending us at the moment!

I absolutely and utterly disagree with this. In fact I couldn't disagree more!

There's a famous saying:

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf

Do you really think you'd live the life you are living if it were not for the fact soldiers are ready to defend us if needed? They don't have to be literally fighting a war repelling invaders to be defending us. The armed forces biggest job is to act as a deterrent.

Soldiers sign up to defend us with their lives if necessary. We (via our elected government) send them abroad to fight wars in our name to defend our interests. Now I understand that a lot of people me included are dubious about if these wars are really in our interests. But that's besides the point.

The soldiers go because we've sent them. They are doing the job we've sent them out to do. And they die because we've sent them to their deaths.

I think that deserves a bit of respect? Don't you?

We're not glorifying the armed forces recently. We're just showing more respect than we once have. If you go to America, the level of respect for service personnel is on another level. In comparison we don't do nearly enough.

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 14:21:07

Spacefrogg, you've just nicely sidestepped my point entirely.

You said:

Really, so we disband the forces and then what, magically create an army to save us from invasion from an aggressor. It does not work like that. It takes years & years of specilaist training to be at the level our forces are.

(Note, I never suggested dissolving the armed forces).

So then I asked you if you viewed these (real, obviously) wars as practice for keeping the armed forces sharp in case we're invaded.

Where have you seen people screaming over disbanded militaries?

MadBusLady Thu 23-May-13 14:21:37

Y'see, I think that's amazing spacefrogg, genuinely, but I also think having people to take my rubbish away, and people to give me penicillin if I need it is pretty amazing.

I just think the extra emotion that some people attach to the armed forces and not to other vital jobs is a bit strange. (I don't think you attaching emotion to it is strange, obviously, because it is your experience).

It's disturbing because it seems to lead those people into basically thinking that everyone who doesn't agree with them must be suspect (or in the words of someone above, "a twat".)

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 14:22:30

spacefrogg1 you have seen it before? When? I didn't realise the British Army had been disbanded in the last 100 years...nor that the United Kingdom been invaded...

'Rough men', niceguy? hmm

Are you serious?

I wouldn't hurry to be proud of 'rough men' if I were you. And the men and women I know who are or have been in the army wouldn't thank you for that description.

I agree we couldn't simply disband the military right this instant. However, I don't see how that translates into making wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ok. I just don't. If you think it does, you are effectively saying that killing innocent civilians is the price we pay for having a military ready to defend us in the (currently, unlikely) event of an attack.

I don't think anyone really believes that!

And I agree with madbus.

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 14:26:01

Niceguy2. How is not agreeing with the war beside the point? That's exactly the point. I like having an armed forces to defend the country, and if that's ALL they were doing, I would respect the institution much like I do say, the NHS for providing health care.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 14:27:09

The "rough men" quotation has been round for a century or so, usually attributed to George Orwell, though it's a paraphrase, not his exact words.

EldritchCleavage Thu 23-May-13 14:28:03

Although to be fair to spacefrog (a bit) it is NATO strategy to meet actual or potential threats outside the NATO area, the idea being that wars are so destructive we aim never to have to fight another war on our own territory, by taking the fight to the enemy first. That means fighting more wars in far-flung places, not fewer.

Which I understand as a strategy, without agreeing that it justifies the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 14:29:10

LRDtheFeministDragon - did not excape my mind that i flew in an aeroplane and landed in another coutry.

When i was in Iraq and LIBERATED Basra we had an impromtue parade by the locals for freeing them up from a terrible regime. People came out cheering and clapping us. i had a beautiful little girl approach me who was about 5 offering me food and water. That was when i realised that no matter what the reason for going to war was, we were wanted by the Iraqi people.

ophelia275 Thu 23-May-13 14:31:11

YANBU! Wearing it as an act of solidarity with the poor victim makes sense. Much better to respond to this horrible act with a decent response such as promoting a charity that helps the injured. Anyone who has a problem with this is being ridiculous imo.

auntie - it wasn't the authenticity I had an issue with, it was someone citing it in support of the current situation i found odd.

space - erm, ok then. Good for you. I'm sure it was lovely to be treated as a hero.

I don't quite see what this has to do with it? Do you honestly not get that the army killed a lot of people? That wars do kill people? That some of us get concerned about this?

You can kid yourself all you like that those dead people's last thought was 'thank god, brilliant, I'm so glad there was no way of getting rid of our regime other than a war', but it's not so.

I get that you may feel you were doing something nasty that had to be done, but I am really uncomfortable with you describing all of this as if you were in the Red Cross instead of the army.

MadBusLady Thu 23-May-13 14:33:19

Oh yes, adulation of the NHS gets on my tits as well.

<impartial> grin

niceguy2 Thu 23-May-13 14:35:10

It was a famous quote. There are variations of it.

@Crowler my point is that whether or not you disagree with the war, you cannot and should not disrespect the armed forces because of it.

They go where our government tell them to. I was dead against the original invasion of Iraq. We certainly can't go invading other countries cos we don't like them.

But that was the decision of the government, not the army.

I still respect our armed forces but not necessarily the government which sent them in the first place.

Hope that makes sense

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 14:39:10

wow it was like you were there LRDtheFeministDragon.

Do you even know the rules of engagement. Killing innocent civillians? Our rules state that you cannot engage the enemy unless you feel that your life or the life of anyone else is in danger. even then you have to have a clear shot. We do not go guns blazing into a firfight whilst innocent people are there. For every live round (bullet) that is fired, it is investigated to make sure where the bullets have gone and also it was justied in its use. I suggest you either stop reading the press or watching rambo films because it realy is not like that.

Also did you know the Army act more as police men rather than dogs of war.

space, are you seriously trying to suggest that in Iraq and Afghanistan, no civilians have been killed?

Really?

Very hard to believe you.

You can kid yourself all you like you're more or less the police, or more or less the Red Cross, but ask yourself this: if that were true, why does the army exist as well?

LtEveDallas Thu 23-May-13 14:45:53

Coments like above must make those servings stomachs turn to know they risk life and limb for the likes on here that have no respect

Hmm, not really, because I understand that I chose to do a job that not everyone would appreciate.

I also understand that very few civilians know the sort of thing we do on Ops, the 'good' that we do that isn't publicised as well as the 'bad'

I don't need the respect of people that do not know me just because I happen to wear a uniform.

Almost 20 years ago (Christ I'm old!) I was in Bosnia protecting the Bosnian Muslims from persecution. Some of the incidents I was involved in back then were probably 'heroic' but I don't see myself as a hero. 10 years ago I was in Iraq, again maybe some of my actions then were 'heroic' but I'm still not a hero.

I can honestly say I don't know any soldiers that consider themselves heroes - they consider themselves soldiers and nothing more. If a soldier started calling himself a hero in my presence I'd think he was nothing but a Walt.

H4H is a charity. H4H is nothing more than a catchy name for a charity. It raises a lot of money for people that need help and I'm sure those people and their families are grateful, but it is not a charity I support and do not donate to it.

OP should not be denegrated for wearing her TShirt any more than someone wearing a Macmillan TShirt or CLIC TShirt should.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 14:46:36

LRDtheFeministDragon - i know that there have been innocent lives lost but not due to the deliberate act of our Armed Forces.

How do you think the Taliban fight?, not in uniform, they wear civilian clothing, burkas etc. they try to blend in with the civillians, they then attack in a crowed place to maximise the damage caused. they do not care for their own coutry men (in fact alot of fighters come from Pakistan and cross the boarder to fight). they then use the damage for their own propaganda.

There wopuld be less civilian casualties if the freedom fights put on a uniform (did you notice i used the word freedom fighter).

space, I never said it was deliberate. hmm

Do you really not get that this isn't a binary thing? I am not explaining why I'm uneasy with the war because I support the Taliban. Shock as that may be to you.

I am uneasy with war. Full stop.

It bothers me that on a thread where most people have suggested the OP wasn't doing anything wrong, and a few have suggested that maybe she will be misinterpreted (which is hardly crime of the century material), you still feel dissatisfied unless you are cheerleading a rousing round of applause for our troops.

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 14:49:20

Niceguy, sounds like we're on the same page (perhaps because you're nice?) but as has been exhaustively discussed on this page - some people find it weird that you must declare respect. Normally, we would just assume that people respect people for the job they do out of normal human decency.

landofsoapandglory Thu 23-May-13 14:51:46

I fucking wish that people would realise that it is not just soldiers in the Armed Forces, there are the Royal Airforce and the Navy as well! It boils my piss that they are all put under the blanket term of 'soldier'.

OP YANBU. I shall be wearing my H4Hs hoodie as and when I see fit. My DH is serving, he does as he is told. He joined in 1986, it was a totally different world then.

DS1(18) is just about to start the application process. He knows what he is signing up for, but IMO it is just as well there are people like him who still want to join up. They don't just go off to Afghanistan, they do a lot of other jobs too. Remember the floods in Pakistan? I saw my old neighbour running out of the back of a chinook with food and aid.

I am really, really grateful for the job the Forces do. It is hard work, unless you have lived in it you will never totally understand it (I am not being patronising).

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 14:54:25

LRDtheFeministDragon - i have never said that the Armed forces needs their own cheerleading group.

This started because people were saying that H4H T-Shirts represented thugs and racists.

I don't support War, in fact i despise war but i am not naive to think that we could disband our forces and live happily ever after.

Saltire Thu 23-May-13 14:54:49

*I fucking wish that people would realise that it is not just soldiers in the Armed Forces, there are the Royal Airforce and the Navy as well! It boils my piss that they are all put under the blanket term of 'soldier'. *

^^^this.

I really don't think that is what people were mostly saying, though.

People have said that some thugs and racists are wearing these T shirts. That's horrible, and I imagine particularly horrible for the people who work for or benefit from the charity. It is also something the OP, unfortunately, has to deal with, but hopefully she can.

I don't see why it has to lead in to some kind of 'if you're not with us you're against us' paranoia.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 15:03:47

LRDtheFeministDragon - Most of the Armed forces don't expect you all to support them but they don't actually expect you to tell them how wrong they are etc.

If you don't support the armed forces then fiar enough but don't go to the extream of slagging off the very people who protect you.

seeker Thu 23-May-13 15:06:08

I do wish people would stop representing the services as a combination of the Red Cross, the United Nations and the police.

The primary function of the armed forces is to fight. It is naive and misleading to try to pretend otherwise. Despite the recruiting material. And there is collateral damage when fighting happens. To pretend otherwise is even more naive and misleading.

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 15:06:12

spacefrogg1 where exactly did LRD slag the armed forces off?

Oh, come on.

'Slagging off'?

I think that these wars are wrong. If someone in the armed forces feels they deserve everyone else to let go of their moral conscience, that is immensely arrogant. Why would you feel you get to do that?

I'm not 'slagging' anyone off, but I do think that it is valid to be dubious about the wars this country has got involved in. That is why, for some people, this is a political issue.

If I don't believe these wars are right, I am entitled to that belief, and I'm afraid you don't get to dictate that. Nor does anyone else.

I think we're wandering a long way from the original subject, since I've seen no evidence the OP shares your extremism.

EldritchCleavage Thu 23-May-13 15:09:09

LRD is not 'slagging off'. She's one of the more measured contributors to this discussion, I think.

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 15:10:16

Agree LRD. Obviously a nice, normal person would be on the side of a poor young guy who was murdered rather than on his killers's side, if we really have to be talking about "sides".

I just don't see why one would wear an item of clothing, or post a status update on FB, or fly a flag in order to "prove" it.

And people choose to join the army in this day and age in this country. They are not conscripted.

landofsoapandglory Thu 23-May-13 15:11:31

Seeker, My DH's primary job is to fix aircraft not to fight!

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 15:13:16

seeker - i have never said our HM Forces were the red cross but they do activly police, That is the role of the foces when on peace keeping.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 15:14:23

LRDtheFeministDragon - care to explain my extreamism?

seeker Thu 23-May-13 15:14:29

Interesting that you picked on that, rather than the fighting/collateral damage point.....

I'm afraid I can't fully explain your extremism as it seems indefensible to me, but I imagine it's a mixture of misplaced patriotism, a knee-jerk reaction to a perceived threat, and possibly a dose of cognitive dissonance about the role of the military in war.

Since you asked.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 15:22:00

LRDtheFeministDragon ha ha, fair enough, not sure how you got to that point when i clearly told you what it was actually like on a real live operation. such as policing, building schools and playing football with the local kids.

Not sure about miss placed patriotism but i think it proves my point. Thanks.

landofsoapandglory Thu 23-May-13 15:22:11

No, it's not interesting at all, assuming that you are talking to me. He joined up to learn and be able to fix military aircraft. They play a lot of roles within the military. He did not join up to fight.

I know that when there is military action there is collateral damage on both sides.

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 15:25:31

I think seeker was talking to spacefrogg, landofsoapandglory.

But what would you like people to say, land?

'I don't support the war, I think it is wrong, but of course, anyone who isn't fighting on the front line is good and anyone who is, is bad'?

That's daft, IMO. I don't think people fighting are 'bad' because of what they do, and I don't think people doing what your DH does are 'good' because of what they do. I just feel uneasy about the heroism rhetoric and the idea that you can't have reservations about war and be a patriot.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 15:28:44

LRDtheFeministDragon - you can still love your country and not like war. I don't like war and i don't know any of my commerades who does. Unfortunatly it is a job that is nessesery.

So you believe. Which you have every right to believe.

I think this illustrates why it's difficult to display political messages at work, though.

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 15:33:27

So why join the army?

To me it's like joining the teaching profession if you don't like educating.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 15:39:16

Why hester? did you know in the forces you can do any job that you can on civi street. Like being a doctor or a scientist or a mechanic, post man, radio op, office clark as well as a soldier.

Yes i joined as a soldier in 1999, never for one moment thought i would see a war, but things change. I joined becuse i loved being outside, keeping fit, rolling about in the mud. The Army was the right choice for what i loved. I left in 2005 shortly after coming home from Iraq.

landofsoapandglory Thu 23-May-13 15:39:47

No LRD, not at all. What I am trying to say is that not everyone who joins the forces do so to fight. There are lots of roles within the forces. In my mind it is just as well we have people in the country who will join up in all roles.

The war that is being fought is not the military's fault, it is the Government's, so if you don't support someone you should support them IMO.

I know the thread has moved on somewhat but I just wanted to add my experience to the thread...

Many years ago (think decades), I served with the Royal Artillery and for a whilst I was posted to the Woolwich Barracks. At that time the danger came from the IRA. We were told that when off duty and about town that we shouldn't wear army T-shirts and go marching around. The pub which is just opposite the entrance had been bombed by the IRA.

We were completely aware of the dangers. Of course this doesn't make it right and that you should be able to go about your life without fear. That applies to all citizens not just soldiers.

TBH I'm a bit confused as to why this story has been given so much press time. In any one day in the UK there will be many murders. Some due to domestic violence, some like this one will be political or racial.

NeedSomeSun142 Thu 23-May-13 15:41:43

WEARING A SHIRT SUPPORTING A CHARITY IS NOT MAKING A POLITICAL STATEMENT!!

Who gives a shit what someone chooses to wear?!?!

Why not be more offended by the actual murderers and what they claimed to be murdering for? I'm sure Muslims are offended that a few extremists have murdered in Allahs name, when Islam is meant to be a peaceful religion.

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 15:43:08

If you don't support the armed forces then fiar enough but don't go to the extream of slagging off the very people who protect you.

Spacefrogg. Many people have made it abundantly clear that they do not view the current conflicts as protecting us. I think this is an important point to take on board.

But it is a political statement. confused

It is possible to be offended by multiple things at multiple times.

I would have thought, to be honest, the 'political statement' is actually the most sensible route to go down for the OP, as that way, she can easily see whether other similar statements are allowed, and if so, can tell her colleague that he's overreacting. Which I do suspect he is, TBH.

land - ah, right, yes, got you.

And I agree about blaming the government not the individuals in the military, totally. That is very much what I have been trying to say on this thread, and why I think the hero rhetoric is so problematic and polarising. I think it is one of the things that allows the government to hide, really - they get to say look, there's a charity supporting these people because they're so heroic everyone wants to help, we don't need to bother.

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 15:47:34

Well why not be a doctor or a scientist in civilian life then?

Why would you train to be a soldier and not expect to see a war? Did you think life would be all about football with little children and skiing down moutainsides, like in the adverts?

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 15:47:55

Crowler - I have made it clear the the Armed forces are protecting you at all times, even if you want them to or not.

No, you haven't space. You've expressed your opinion that they are.

NeedSomeSun142 Thu 23-May-13 15:50:34

I still don't see how you can get offended by someone wearing a Help for Heroes shirt? Especially today, its a sign of respect to the poor soldier who has been murdered by two clearly disturbed individuals.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 15:50:36

HesterShaw - becuse i liked to be out doors, getting muddy and generally larking about, being a squaddie offered that. Being a doctor does not.

Honestly everyone who joined up when i did, did not expect to go to war. We were not in conflict then.

LtEveDallas Thu 23-May-13 15:50:46

I do wish people would stop representing the services as a combination of the Red Cross, the United Nations and the police

Red Cross? Well if providing aid, food, water and helping build shelter counts, then yes, done that.

United Nations? Assuming you aren't talking about the military deploying as part of the UN, which we also do, well if sitting between two warring factions trying to come to an acceptable and practical compromise counts then yes, done that

Police? Well policing, guarding, protecting, patrolling, showing a formal presence and instilling discipline, then yes, done that as well.

Fighting? Rarely as it's not my trade, but I would if needed. I would also accept that yes, there is collateral damage in war. I wouldn't want to be a part of it, but would accept my burden if I was. Although I have to say that the British Military holds an extrememly 'good' record in this respect and wide ranging attacks are far more calculated and accurate than other countries.

spacefrogg1 Thu 23-May-13 15:52:42

LRDtheFeministDragon - its not an oppinion when i have direct experience. You may not like it by the Amred forces are currently protecting you.

It's an opinion.

sad

Yesterday was such a sad sad day. That poor boy's family. I can only imagine what horrible pain they must be in today. I think that is the most important thing to remember here and I think (hope) the OP was just trying to show support to that poor man's family and colleagues by wearing a HFH top.

My husband is in the army. He accepts the risk associated with his job when deployed overseas but should not have to accept the risk of being murdered on his way home from work in this country. The forces community has been really shocked by this.

I agree the "hero" label gets a bit silly at times and that it is such a shame that HFH seems to be being adopted by vile EDL morons but reading some of the comments above has really left me feeling quite sad. Why shouldn't we show support to our armed forces today?

TheCraicDealer Thu 23-May-13 16:06:28

HesterShaw, if you think that all members of the RAF, Army and RN are purely warmongering, testosterone fuelled eejits then you're wrong. There are so many aspects of the forces that the average person on the street doesn't see. Basically if there's a job, there's an forces equivalent and a rank to go with it. My DP is a military policeman- yes, he's taught how to fight so he'd know what do if he had to, but it's not his role day-to-day. He's there to arrest hellions who get in fights outside the pub, investigate burglary, gather evidence in cases of domestic violence...I could go on.

Perhaps because I get told tales of some of the army's worst examples of unbecoming behaviour I am under no illusion that they deserve the automatic label "heroes". In fact some of them are right cocks, like all sections of society. But they (and their wives and families) do have to put with with a lot of shit. Remember when it all kicked off in Libya in 2011? My DP and his mates spent two weeks in an aircraft hanger on stand-by in case they needed to go out. They don't put that on the recruitment posters or in the papers.

A point that some have made is that they don't consider that the present conflicts are defending us. Well, maybe not, that's a point for discussion. But if anyone thinks that a purely defensive military which only operates within British waters/landmass would be effective, I'd have to disagree. As ways to remotely gather information, plan and attack from a distance grow the more we're at risk as a nation from foreign entities. Sometimes an offensive tactic (this doesn't necessarily mean "war") will be needed, otherwise we face becoming a society that has to separate itself from the rest of the world in order to protect itself.

PatPig Thu 23-May-13 16:08:52

Unfortunately the opinions of some of the people in this thread reinforce the opinions of the far right: compare with the US, where flying a flag, or showing respect for soldiers is not a political act.

SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 16:13:56

Why do we need to compare to the US? Since when are they the gold standard of how service personnel should be treated?

Crowler Thu 23-May-13 16:15:41

PatPig, these things carry debate with them in the US for the same reasons they do in this thread.

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 16:20:53

HesterShaw, if you think that all members of the RAF, Army and RN are purely warmongering, testosterone fuelled eejits then you're wrong.

Please tell me where I said that confused. All I am wondering is why anyone would join the armed forces with no expectation that they would ever have to go to war. I don't think that's a strange or an unreasonable thing to wonder.

I'm also questioning the growing elevation to automatic hero status anyone who puts on a uniform in this country. I respect the armed forces, but then I tend to respect lots of people. I have seen websites out there telling me this young man was a "hero" when they have no idea whether he was one or not.

TheCraicDealer Thu 23-May-13 16:24:04

Sorry, I was just reading between the lines with, To me it's like joining the teaching profession if you don't like educating.

LondonJax Thu 23-May-13 16:24:19

The Help for Heroes shirt is not political - it's been politicised over the past 24 hours by the extreme right. If we're not careful it will go the same way as the English flag and, if it has to be seen as anything other than the charity shirt it is at the moment, it should be as a way of saying extremists are not going to win in this country.

As for the fact, as LRD points out, the hero rhetoric allows the government to hide their heads because there's a charity supporting injured armed forces personnel, I don't see that it's the 'hero' label that does that. I've helped to raise cash for the hospital that performed my son's heart procedure as the NHS didn't have enough money to supply specialist 'child size' equipment. It's a children's hospital. In Britain. It performs heart operations. And it couldn't afford the right size equipment. Whose responsibility is that? So it's not the hero label that makes the government 'shirk' it's responsibility. If that's the case then we shouldn't have British Heart Foundation, Breast Cancer Awareness, Great Ormond Street etc. cos they are all helping to support people in need. Help For Heroes is a catchy marketing name. Just like using pink as the Breast Cancer Awareness colour is a catchy marketing number. Rightly or wrongly pink is seen as a feminine colour. No one is seriously saying Breast Cancer only applies to women. No one seriously thinks every member of the armed forces is a hero. But...I wouldn't like to do their job, just like I wouldn't like to have to go into a house where blood was seeping under the front door (as a police officer friend of mine had to do a few years ago), nor would I like to have to deal with a violent drunk or drug addicted in A&E. That's why I've never applied for those jobs! My police officer friend often questions why he does the job. Then he has a good day and he understands why. Just like, I imagine, a squaddie questions why he/she does the job when something goes wrong (colleagues or civilians hurt for example), then they see things going right and they understand.

The other thing to remember is that when you sign up for the armed forces, you sign for a number of years. You can't just resign, you can't walk out just because you disagree with a stance or an order. And, yes, I imagine many new recruits sign up thinking it's going to be like Rambo only to discover for them it's more like Apocolypse Now - but many others get a sense of worth and achievement from the good days.

As for the OP question. I asked a Muslim friend of mine, today, if they'd be offended by someone wearing a HFH t-shirt. Their reply was 'no, I'd almost expect it. As long as they were wearing it out of respect for that young soldier and weren't looking at me like I'm the enemy, I have no problem'. As for me. I probably wouldn't have worn it but, as someone once said 'I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it'.

LtEveDallas Thu 23-May-13 16:29:08

I am wondering is why anyone would join the armed forces with no expectation that they would ever have to go to war

But who said that in the first place Hester?

Admittedly when I joined up (24 years ago) Iraq was kicking up for the first time, but other than that I had no expectation of war, but would have been prepared if needed. As I sure most sensible recruits would have.

I'm also questioning the growing elevation to automatic hero status anyone who puts on a uniform in this country

I don't see this, but maybe I am simply blind to it. H4H is all about helping the wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan. People call them heroes because they have been injured - that doesn't make all service personnel heroes - in fact H4H quantifies that themselves with their refusal to help service personnel injured across the board (which is why I do not suport them).

PatPig Thu 23-May-13 16:30:39

When I was at school, the army recruiters came round. At that time, there was lot of talk about benefits and bonuses, but no real suggestion that you were likely to die.

thebody Thu 23-May-13 16:35:12

Wear what you like op. I am proud that in Britain you can see a burka, a mini skirt, a sari and a scull cap all in one city.

That's inclusion and democracy.

Violence and hate has no base in any religion or faith.

It's just a blood lust wrapped up in a cause.

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 16:36:50

Someone did upthread, Eve. I think PatPig's post is a very pertinent one actually - we had the same talk from the armed forces at school. There was a lot of talk of job security, teamwork, opportunities, travel and training, but little mention of having to kill or be killed.

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 16:37:34

And finally, thebody has it.

Wear what you like.

LtEveDallas Thu 23-May-13 16:47:08

but little mention of having to kill or be killed

Because in all honesty there is litte to mention. You are no more likely on ops to kill or be killed than you are in a RTA outside barracks. Yes lots of soldiers have been killed - or so it seems, but when you look at the ratio of those killed to those deployed the number is negligible.

london - That is really sad about you having to raise funds.

But ... comparing cancer care and support for wounded soldiers just shows how different they are. No-one ever goes around justifying cancer, because it is an illness that doctors wish they knew how to treat better. It's terrible that the government doesn't provide enough money (or doesn't have enough money), but it's not the government who got people sick. OTOH the government (or rather, dear Tony) did commit to war and is now saying it can't afford to support the wounded. That is very different IMO.

noddyholder Thu 23-May-13 16:59:53

The shirt has not been politicised in the last 24 hrs. EDL have been having hideous marches where I live on various occasions in the last few years and a large % of them are wearing those t shirts as well as carrying buckets collecting for HFH.

thebody Thu 23-May-13 17:01:54

Then noddy good sensible people need to claim it back by wearing it.

Like the St George flag.

The EDL are a bunch of twats.

seeker Thu 23-May-13 17:04:48

.

"Honestly everyone who joined up when i did, did not expect to go to war. We were not in conflict then"

That's the ridiculous, biassed recruiting process for you......

anklebitersmum Thu 23-May-13 17:07:19

Drummer Lee Rigby was a 25yr old father with a wife and 2yr old son. sad

lest we forget

PaperSeagull Thu 23-May-13 17:59:50

The murder of that poor young man was an atrocious and shocking act. IMO, wearing a T-shirt is an essentially meaningless form of support, but if it makes the OP feel better, why not? However, if wearing such a T-shirt was interpreted as support of racism, I personally wouldn't do it.

I'm American, so perhaps I have a slightly different perspective. The unthinking pro-military rhetoric we have been exposed to in the US over the past decade has been rather unrelenting. I opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It infuriates me when politicians trot out the cliches about soldiers "fighting for our freedom" and suggest that opposing war is somehow wrong and "unpatriotic."

I'm also a little wary when people say they support the troops 100%. What do they mean by that? I don't (and didn't) support the presence of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, nor do I support many (perhaps most) of their actions there. My support for the troops means bringing them home out of harm's way and providing them with the best health care we can, including mental health care (sadly, the US has woefully failed many soldiers in this area). And even better, not sending them off to die in unjustified wars in the first place.

seeker Thu 23-May-13 18:16:21

Well said, paperseqgull.

jcscot Thu 23-May-13 18:25:50

I don't get this idea of "Support for the Armed Forces", either through Armed Forces Day or by wearing a H4H shirt.

Quite frankly, as a forces wife, neither my husband nor I feel any need for pats on the back or applause because of the job he does - which he enjoys very much. He get his fulfillment out of doing the very best he can no matter what his role or post, not because someone wears a shirt. I don't like the overtones of nationalism/patriotism

I don't see that wearing a shirt shows solidarity with the dead man or his family - we can only guess at the sorrow and distress that they must be going through and my heart does go out to them. I doubt, but I may be wrong, that lots of people wearing forces shirts will make them feel any better.

I have always felt uncomfortable with the whole H4H thing (and I have donated to them) because I feel that the money and services they provide, which are much needed, should be provided by the government as part of the military covenant. I also feel uncomfortable with the "heroes" tag - not everyone who serves is a hero, wounded, dead or alive. |It cheapens the word and the actions of those who are truly heroic. However, I accept the catchiness of the name and the ease of marketing it provides.

I think if people really want to support the soldiers, sailors and airmen, then they should badger their MPs to uphold the government's end of the Covenant.

Ilovemyself Thu 23-May-13 19:02:28

So what is wrong in being patriotic. You can be proud to be British ( or English in my case) and still have respect for every other nation.

And part of being patriotic is supporting British items. Or people. Or armed forces.

As long as being proud of your differences does not entail bigotry to those not like you what is the trouble.

ThenWeTakeBerlin Thu 23-May-13 19:07:42

LtEveDallas Why don't H4H help all service personnel?

KittensoftPuppydog Thu 23-May-13 19:15:16

I think that there is nothing wrong with wearing it and showing support. Especially at the moment. It doesn't mean you are racist. It just means that you won't be intimidated by nutters.

Lovecat Thu 23-May-13 19:20:40

"part of being patriotic is supporting British items. Or people. Or armed forces."

Sorry, but bollocks.

Loving your country does not mean defending it right or wrong. One of the things I like about being British is that we're not blind to our faults.

Kneejerk patriotism makes me very uneasy. In fact I'm with Samuel Johnson on the subject.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 19:34:56

H4H helps only those of recent conflicts because that it what its founders chose to do.

Others, notably RBL and SSAFA, help those from any conflict.

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 19:35:14

Is he the one who compared patriotism to being a loving parent, someone who loves the good things about their child, but who wants the bad things to improve. If you support the bad things about your country, then patriotism becomes nationalism or jingoism.

i intend wearing mine to school tomorrow, exdh was forces, my dad was forces and I assist with a support group for children of serving servicemen and women.

noddyholder Thu 23-May-13 20:04:24

Agree lovecat

Ilovemyself Thu 23-May-13 20:06:11

Lovecat. Where did I say defending it right or wrong?

I didn't.

Of course we would be horrified if a British person committed a similar act of terrorism in another country. Or a British product caused death or misery. Or if our armed forces acted in a way they shouldn't. And in those cases we would be ashamed a Brit could do such a thing.

So I stand by my original statement about patriotism. I was patriotic before yesterday and will continue to be for the rest of my life.

Saltire Thu 23-May-13 20:22:26

Iii dont support H4H all the time either for the reasons given bt Lt Eve. Instead we give to RBLS and rafbf and saaffa

Lovecat Thu 23-May-13 22:00:11

That's not what you said, to be fair, Ilovemyself. You made what was on the face of it a very sweeping statement that to be patriotic was to "support" our armed forces/products/people. No mention of degree or exclusions.

From reading your post I took you to mean that if you didn't support the armed forces (no matter what they do) then you weren't a patriot. My apologies if that's not the case.

Ilovemyself Thu 23-May-13 22:40:16

No problem lovecat. I am learning to be as specific as poss with posts on here lol.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 22:55:15

You can hold the viewpoint that you support the Armed Forces, pretty much regardless, because it is not they who decide the missions they are deployed on. Britain is not ruled by the military.

The responsibility for whether it is right or moral to engage force rests squarely with the Government who decide on the campaign, its parameters and its legality.

pigletmania Fri 24-May-13 00:07:29

Yanbu wear it with pride, forget the PC dogooders. Supporting the Armed forces, and showing support to the soldier who lost his life does not mean you support racism or Islamophobia.

peskyginge Fri 24-May-13 00:31:39

Yanbu and I like the assumption from quite a few on here that people who have Muslim beliefs would be offended by h4h......is that not a racist opinion in itself?!

seeker Fri 24-May-13 07:39:22

If the t shirt has been hijacked by the EDL then, while muslim people would have no right to be offended by it, they might justifiably be very wary.......

pigletmania Fri 24-May-13 09:47:30

Even if it's been hijacked by EDL who has also hacked many British symbols to support their racist ideologies, if you are wearing it to show support for the troops and of the poor soldier who died who cares.

seeker Fri 24-May-13 13:29:04

Well, I care abut making my peaceful neighbours worry that I might be a racist thug.......

AuntieStella Fri 24-May-13 13:34:05

I think EDL might have difficulty hijacking H4H, given its royal and other high profile supporters.

noddyholder Fri 24-May-13 13:52:38

Well they marched through brighton wearing the t shirts and rattling buckets so I would say that is pretty well hijacked Luckily they were run out of town by a huge crowd of locals and the police. Apparently they think the Pavilion is a mosque which shows the intelligence level

WilsonFrickett Fri 24-May-13 13:59:34

if you are wearing it to show support for the troops and of the poor soldier who died who cares.

But how does someone know that's why you're wearing it? How can someone know that just by looking at you? And again, we're talking about workwear, not what people wear when they're out shopping. The standards for what you wear at work are different.

littlediamond33 Fri 24-May-13 15:41:10

wear it with great PRIDE. I would if i had one.My thoughts are with the soldiers family and friends.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 24-May-13 16:00:20

PeacefulSeagull - thank you for mentioned about the US. It is important to note that OTT rhetoric doesn't actually translate into providing decent care and treatment for "Our Boys". In a decent society HfH wouldn't need to exist.

I also absolutely think the Armed Forces should be open to criticism, just like any other public body. Otherwise you end up with things like the Deepcut barracks deaths, which were swept under the carpet.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Fri 24-May-13 18:03:55

YANBU.
if I had one I would wear it too.

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