A land fit for heroes

I have just come back from the States and I was struck by a feature I saw on CNN concerning the people of Texas, living close to a military airhead. Every time a military transporter arrives from Iraq, loaded with US troops coming home on leave or at the end of their tours, the locals turn up at the terminal en masse and give their troops a proper welcome US style. Cheering and clapping, hugging and kissing. Many of the locals disagree with the Iraq war but they put their personal views aside because they want their troops to feel welcomed. Vietnam vets were interviewed and explained how they were made to feel unwelcome and unwanted when they returned home from their own unpopular war. The returning US troops were clearly moved by the heartfelt gesture from the Texan townfolk.

I could not help but contrast the American approach with the miserable approach of the UK Government. Our own soldiers are advised to get out of uniform at UK airports and at Selly Oak hospital, FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY!

Are we trying to create another Vietnam here? What must the injured folk at Selly Oak think about how we view their sacrifice? I am utterly ashamed and disillusioned by the lack of regard that our Government have for soldiers who have been involved in some of the fiercest fighting in living memory. If there is a reaction in terms of resignations when the boys get home, I very much doubt if these soldiers will be easily replaced.

A military wing at Selly Oak is only a tiny step to helping put this situation right. I fear that we are now reaching a breaking point in our armed forces.

A land fit for heroes? Hardly....
I was in New York a year ago and everytime there was a news report about either the Police/Fire Brigade/Armed Forces the started the report off with the likes of "our heroes" were in action today blah blah blah

Such great spirit I returned home(ROI) where the media regularly Sh*TT on the police force (which I used to be in)


Book Reviewer
Having just been discharged from Selly Oak after being taken ill on tour I thought that I could give a couple of points. On the ward where I was treated, I was alongside some severly injured soldiers who had been in Afghanistan and a large number of civilians (including Geriatrics). The Military and Civilian staff who treated us (the service personnel) were all brilliant (with one civilian exception - isn't there always?) However a separate Military ward is required. There was no security on the ward - the nurses station was at the opposite end of the ward from the entrance dorr for goodness sake! Civilian patients don't understand soldiers, and soldiers have no patience with the attitude of some civilians. Our boys (and girls) need - really NEED - their own staff and facilities. A Military Ward is the least that the country can do.
The political situation in the US makes a marked difference. Right or left they support the troops. The left opposes the war but still supports the troops. The situation is different here where the far left has a tradition of not liking the forces and people are simply not as demonstrative as the Yanks.

But ordinary people do still support the troops here, they are still top of the popularity stakes in terms of professions, unlike my own. On the specific point of Selly Oak, I am personally astonished at the lack of money available to put into treating troops properly, across the board, not just on the medical side. Two of my children were born in military hospitals, admittedly abroad and I'm surprised but willing to accept that a return to at least one proper military hospital is not the answer. But the idea of soldiers with serious traumatic injuries stuck in among civilians seems nonsense to me.
thebatoneffect said:
I was in New York a year ago and everytime there was a news report about either the Police/Fire Brigade/Armed Forces the started the report off with the likes of "our heroes" were in action today blah blah blah

Try being there during Fleet week! never seen so many groupies in one place! :drool:

Oh the girls like a sailor........
Here is a link to the item concerning Dallas airport homecoming. Well worth a look, the ac gets a water salute, lots of flags lots of tears. The testimomials are special, included a couple below.


I just returned from a glorious two week leave in the great state of Texas. I expected to arrive in Dallas, wander to my connecting flight to Houston and get home without any real memory of DFW. Instead, I was blown away by the whole experience. I was surprised by the water salute, but when I found the reception at the gate it was all I could do to choke back the tears. I sit here day after day in the dining facility and hear CNN report how everyone hates what we do and it makes it so hard to stay motivated. I wasn't born until 1968 but I have heard stories my whole life about Viet Nam vets getting spit upon in the San Francisco Airport as they arrived home. Of course, I always knew that there were huge differences between Dallas and San Francisco, but as a Houstonian I have also always had little love for Dallas. That will certainly change now. Thank you so much for the completely unexpected and wonderful welcome. I really don't know how I can ever express the gratitude I feel for the homecoming you gave us. It makes me prouder than ever to be a Texan, to be an American and to be a soldier. God bless you all.

Daniel A. Phillips
111th Area Support Group
Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan

I returned from Iraq in September 2005 for my R&R. Then I also came home for good in December 2005. The welcome I received in Dallas brought tears to my eyes! That welcome also made me realize that I will continue to serve this great country and its even greater people until its time to retire from the military. Thanks to all of you from the bottom of my heart and God bless you all for all the good things you do!! Keep up the good work, it means alot.

Staff Sergeant Jon Depiesse
Kansas Army National Guard

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