Such a prescient, beautiful sentiment.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

A Chance Encounter.

With A Veteran Youngster.

The hot weather has unexpected revelations. Young women betray their style and class with ugly exposure or beautiful and stylish, understated allure. You get to choose which fits your perception of which is which.

For OR, yesterday, it was something else. A striking piece of imagery I'll never forget. A young, tall, in my eyes, film star handsome, young man. He wore, sensibly, a short sleeved, summer top. Just below the knee, lightweight, cotton shorts. You had to have looked long and hard on his, I believe, right calf to detect scarring. No issue with the left side. 

A prosthetic, mechanical, bang up to date, bolt on lower leg, not dissimilar to the one shown above. I couldn't help ask myself if this was a battle injury, to which he replied it was. I offered and he took my hand. I was humbled by his stoicism, "I should have looked where I was going" he said, with that classic military humour.

Here was a casualty maimed for life. An example of the cream of our modern youth of today. He had a friend, possibly brother, with him. Of all the quiet glory surrounding their normality, I was struck with how well served we are by these people. OK, it's a job, they'll say, we get paid. 

OK, it is and they are. Let us not, however forget, when these young people sign up, they offer their lives for Queen and Country, on the dotted line. Not for them the political arguments and the philosophising we oldies may indulge in. Sure, I remember my own five year stint in the RAF but few conflicts existed in the early mid-sixties other than the propaganda of the cold war. More of a mental strife than physical.

As I left the store, where these two young men appeared to be stocking up for the weekend's celebrations to come, I was full of mixed feelings. My loathing of the incompetents in power was jumbled with my admiration for the troops placed in such terrible situations and in many cases, made quadriplegic out of the carnage manufactured by those at the top.

I was also full of admiration for the technology that is giving so many young men and some young women, a mobility which is much improved, out of the necessity created in those far off places. I don't know if the young man will read this post today but I dedicate it to all of our troops, young men and women who, with the rare exception that shames them all, serve not just us but in many instances the people they seek to protect from the bullies and political idiots of other countries would be bosses. 

God bless you all and thank you.


  1. Seconded.

    I maintain that whatever war or conflict our troops are sent off to, they get my support 100%. When they are theatre they deserve nothing less. Our argument is with the fuckwits that deployed them, not the troops on the ground.

    Come home safe, folks.


  2. What you said, OR! Nothing to add to your post which sums up my own feelings about our courageous service people and the slimes in charge who value military lives so cheap.

  3. Hear Hear OR, God Bless Them All.

    And God Dam the political tossers who don't give a shit.

  4. "They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
    Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow."

    Oldrightie & Captain Ranty the old uniform cap is doffed in your directions, I fully agree with your post/comments.

  5. Lions led by donkeys. Thank God there are still lions to defend us.

  6. Captain,

    "I maintain that whatever war or conflict our troops are sent off to, they get my support 100%."

    Sadly, I'll again disagree with you on this subject. In saying you support them 100% it means you condone the killing of men, women and children, by their hands, defending their homelands from the 'British' foreign invaders. It means you agree with the displacement of these peoples, who will in effect flee their lands and very possibly end up here within the UK, to cause yet more cultural conflict and civil unrest. It means you agree to the societal destruction by the armed forces, smashing apart foreign infrastructure, in order for the bankers to move in with the corporations to rebuild, how they want it, with the elnd result being massive wealth for themselves and total control over yet another foreign land.

    British armed forces are mercenary murderers Captain. I do not support any of them one iota, purely for the reason that they, by following order are not just creating the problem but part of the problem. No armed forces, no foreign land invasions. It's that simple.

    Captain, if I was working on the door one night in a club and you walked in with some friends and your son, how would you feel if I killed your son, at the orders from my boss, because of whatever reason? Would you feel angry at me killing your son, or with my boss who told me to? You can compare this scenario to the armed forces being controlled by government. They are the ones doing the killing. No one's forcing them to do so at gunpoint are they? British armed forces have no conscience, for if they did, they wouldn't we in the armed forces.



    1. Harbinger, the old moral maze. For me our forces were meant to be our defense. The crap that their presence in Afghanistan and Iraq was to keep our streets safe was bull shit.

      Unfortunately the armed forces are required to obey orders, as were the Germans and Nazis who, like everybody else, went along with "orders".

      We need an armed force to protect our own land and society. Yet the muppets in the know use them for commercial and aggressive gain. It has to be that the military are abused when following their masters' decrees. The EU are very much down the road of ensuring "our" armed services become "theirs". Then what?

  7. A very inspiring story! The guy has fought adversity and has been so incredibly courageous.