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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?

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


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.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 23-May-13 12:29:26

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).

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 23-May-13 12:30:34

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?

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 23-May-13 12:39:00

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


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


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.

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