I totally agree Richard, just lucky at 76 to be able to still enjoy life!!!
Outside of the forces very few people recognise the veterans badge.Though it can be worn whenever we feel like it,unlike medals which can rarely be worn.Maybe not a medal, perhaps a badge? Last year I bought my husband a Veterans Badge with a poppy from the British Legion, he always wears his plain Veterans Badge on his coat lapel.
I think so sort of community service would help! Both of out children did some in the summer while at University. Each summer they would spend a month with under privileged families and communities, un paid except room and food. Not the same as NS but they got to understand other lifestyles and made them better.For many years governments have spoke about striking a medal for the thousands National Service wouldn’t it be nice if in the Jubilee Years it could happen,the Queen must met many thousands of NS lads during her reign and the number still living must be reducing every year. Most NS lads didn’t like being compulsory called up, many had served time to get a trade on peanut wages coming into trade wages only to be give the peanut wage again for two years. I for one started on 23 shillings and 9p a week and finishing my time on £3, taking my trade up I went up to £10 a week 6 months later I called up married with young child. I started my army service on 23 shilling and my wife and child £5 and 5 Shillings a week living with my in-laws as you did in them days. On discharge I had the total sum of £39 and returned to trade which kept a week hand and it was 5 years before I was able to buy a house. It was the worst house in the road we were glad of a roof over our heads the neighbours used to call it rhubarb and custard house it was painted red & yellow but we worked at it and made a home of it. My wife and I had no help with money wise to do what we did no holidays no car no phone for five years and worked hard for the rest of light to achieve a nice life later life. It hasn’t been easy like thousands like my self, but I get up set when I hear youngster say it’s alright you. living through the war years and hard times my wife and I are very happy with our life and what we have achieved though hard work and being and only having what I can afford.
Im convinced NS was necessary for the country, you went into NS a youngster but you come out an adult.
Would some sort of NS benefit the youngster of to day.
In the uk the Duke of Edinburgh Award was a super scheme for young people. I worked on it as an expedition leader and have seen what an opportunity it can be for young people to learn new skills, make new friends and do something in the community.I think so sort of community service would help! Both of out children did some in the summer while at University. Each summer they would spend a month with under privileged families and communities, un paid except room and food. Not the same as NS but they got to understand other lifestyles and made them better.
Mort, I agree.....I have a DofE award and two of my grandchildren were on Outward Bound, and two more will go this summer. When I was interviewing mostly engineers, I always looked at those going to university at night or occasional days. That's what I did and I always felt if they had the stamina and attitude to carry it through they really wanted what they were trying for. Many people I went to university with were married with children as was I.In the uk the Duke of Edinburgh Award was a super scheme for young people. I worked on it as an expedition leader and have seen what an opportunity it can be for young people to learn new skills, make new friends and do something in the community.
When interviewing, I was always interested in candidates who had a DofE award. It showed that they could get their act together with minimal supervision.
Thanks Richard I didn’t think one was availableMort, I agree.....I have a DofE award and two of my grandchildren were on Outward Bound, and two more will go this summer. When I was interviewing mostly engineers, I always looked at those going to university at night or occasional days. That's what I did and I always felt if they had the stamina and attitude to carry it through they really wanted what they were trying for. Many people I went to university with were married with children as was I.
I don’t think youngster have got the bottle these days, most of had just come through years of war. With food shortages definitely no tech items very little money and no freedom to do what we please.I suspect that being yanked away from your home for two years without any right of appeal, being treated with little respect and consideration, having to survive on pretty cr*p food, knowing that your well-being and general happiness were wholly in the hands of others (some of whom you viewed with nil confidence or respect - by no means all, but some); knowing that you were wasting a period - representing 10% of your total time on earth to date - before getting back to a proper life.... ... all that might, just conceivably, be a just cause now, in the 21st century, for an appeal to some Court of Human Rights or other.
For me, I'm glad I did it. In the first six months I learned everything which was going to be of value to me later - loyalty to mates who were in exactly the same boat; how to put your head down and just get on with it without debate, however stupid the instruction or unappealing the task; ways of avoiding that sort of work in the first place; an inkling of what it feels like to be the lowest of the low, vulnerable, without rights and with little expectation of consideration; and, pulling much of that together, how NOT to manage and motivate others. The further 18 months was a period of repeating of all these lessons and, whatever contribution was made to the defence of the country which is why I was there, those months did little for me personally.
There were optional escapes. What about a nice trip to a desert island off the Australian Coast to help us in our research into nuclear explosions? Or a week or three being injected with experimental new treatments for the common cold? Er - no thanks, I'll pass on those. And I was fortunate in not being involved in the not-so-optional escapes of fighting in the Malayan jungle, or tracking down the Mau Mau in Kenya, or being shot at by terrorists in Cyprus. Others weren't so lucky and returned to Mum's cooking damaged and changed.
And there was the fleeting, dim awareness of the sacrifices made by those not much older than us - in my case, my elder brother, four long years in the 8th Army, the fathers of some of my friends, away for years in Burma or India or Malta, or fighting their way through France and Holland and Belgium and Germany, or spending long years as guests of the Japanese after the fall of Singapore. Or, in the case of some boys barely older than me, crouching in trenches in the Korean winter and fighting off the Red Army hordes. The aerodrome I was on had been the base for Lancaster squadrons only nine years previously. Perhaps the officer there who now treated you rather like something he had just trodden into on the pavement had been amongst the heroes on those missions, here or at another East Anglian aerodrome. With hindsight, I wish I had thought these thoughts rather more frequently and carefully at the time and had used them to put my frustrations and resentment into a better perspective ...... Another useful lesson learned from National Service, even if belatedly.