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Beharry, VC, pays terrible price for valour

#1
Fame and honour have come at a terrible price for Pte Johnson Beharry, the young soldier from Grenada who was awarded the Victoria Cross by the Queen last year.

he is in constant pain from the war injuries he received in Iraq when rescuing fellow soldiers from his burning armoured personnel carrier.

He also says that his days of active service are at an end and that his personal life has been overshadowed by family feuding.

Pte Beharry, 27, of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, twice cheated death in acts of exceptional bravery when his Warrior tank was hit by rocket-propelled grenades in two ambushes in 2004.

Exposed to enemy fire, with his hatch blown away, his communications gone and his periscope shattered, he led his five-vehicle convoy to safety then clambered on to the red-hot metal to save colleagues, including his commanding officer.

When he went to Buckingham Palace, with his wife, Lynthia, to collect the VC, the Queen told him that the injuries inside would take the longest to heal, he reveals.

Pte Beharry was one of eight children brought up in a two-room hut in Grenada. He moved to Britain when he was 19 and worked on building sites. By joining the Army, he reversed a slide into drink and soft drugs and subsequently discovered an aptitude for driving the 25-ton Warrior vehicles.

In his remarkable book, Barefoot Soldier, to be serialised from tomorrow in The Sunday Telegraph and The Daily Telegraph, he says that he now wants to show how disadvantaged young people can turn their lives around.

Asked whether there was ever a moment when he wished he were an unknown soldier again without his VC, Pte Beharry replied: "I am proud of it, but you don't get something like this for free. You get it and survive with the pain — or you get it and die."


Article in full

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...AVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2006/09/23/nbeharry23.xml
 
#2
Too often there is price exacted for putting others before yourself.

'snot very fair, is it?

I hope things get easier for him, I really do.
 
#3
What's he doing these days? - I know it says he dosen't have a role, but surely they're not going to boot him out? I'm sure I read he was going to be on a recruiting team?
 
#4
He is in and out of Headley Court! That's where I met him and he is a nice chap - especially down the NAAFI!
 
#7
Cant read, im a thick cnut!
 
#8
I just hope he's not getting bored and frustrated of being dragged in and out of soldier mag etc....
 
#9
Random_Task said:
What's he doing these days? - I know it says he dosen't have a role, but surely they're not going to boot him out? I'm sure I read he was going to be on a recruiting team?
It would be brill if they could get him to work as an instructor on basic training. What a role model he would make!
 
#10
He's Grenadian of course and they are fiercely proud to be British. Of all the Caribbean islands in the commonwealth I think they are the only one to still have the Queen's Head on their currency.
 
#11
A better man than I will ever be!
 
#12
Why still a Pte.

Whilst uncommon valour is not the single most important attribute of junior management I would have thought the Army and his unit would have promoted him. Small price to pay for the unit and the Army/Country in general.

If it looks like he is not going to be able to continue his chosen career for some time (sic Infantary) then promote him and use his assets for the better.

What about getting him into recruiting and get him into schools. He can be used as a perfect role model for the next generation.

What ever happens to him he should be promoted to at least Cpl.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#13
Agent_Smith said:
Random_Task said:
What's he doing these days? - I know it says he dosen't have a role, but surely they're not going to boot him out? I'm sure I read he was going to be on a recruiting team?
It would be brill if they could get him to work as an instructor on basic training. What a role model he would make!
You'd have thought they'd have cottoned on to that wouldn't you. It'll be at least 70 years before they can name an accommodation block after him.
Shame though, the bloke shouldn't have to put up with this nonsense.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#14
Agent_Smith said:
Random_Task said:
What's he doing these days? - I know it says he dosen't have a role, but surely they're not going to boot him out? I'm sure I read he was going to be on a recruiting team?
It would be brill if they could get him to work as an instructor on basic training. What a role model he would make!
Probably because he's not physically up to it yet. When they pulled him from his vehicle he was assumed to be dead or dying, his injuries were so bad. What he needs and deserves is the time to recover - as much as he can - rather than being given some bogus job.
 
#15
Cpunk has hit the nail right on the head.

Headley court, where you go for your rehab etc has a ward, the Peter Long ward. Thats where people go who have sustained serious injuries or contracted bad illnesses (no, there are no "good" illnesses) and that's where Pte Beharry is in treatment be it as an outpatient. He was there briefly when I was there and no, I doubt if he is up for anything but PR work on a low scale.

Everyone with a serious head injury has a long road to recovery, some make it and others don't.

If he was to be promoted he would be taking away a slot which needs to be filled so that the unit can be effective.

He is not productive at present and, like me, marks time or gets in line for a medical discharge. There is no disrespect involved - he may have done heroibcal things but that doesn't make you a leader - it means that you had the misfortune to do the right thing naturally, perhaps in camp he is a right mare - do we know?

If, and I hope he does, get well, then proves himself on cadre then yes promote him..... otherwise, you know!
 
#16
It seems everyone wants a pices of Pte Beharry VC. It's becoming a bit of a circus. Instructor? Recruitor? Author? I feel that his VC will be over shadowed by celebrity status. He is his own man and should not be pushed from pillar to post to make the Army look good. I think this will not go anywhere positive if he's not left to make his own decisions.
 
#17
Doom and Bee you are both correct, he should be allowed to get better in his own time. I had not taken that into account when offering what he might do for further for his service.

That said I totally disagree that he cannot be promoted. The normal system can be bypassed and should be in his circumstances.

His valour deserves more. It has been done in the past and so should it be done again. Whether he is fit to command or not is relative to when he returns to duty. Who is going to say, he only got promoted because he won the VC.........of course he bloody did.
 
#18
He's being looked after and that's good. Even if his injuries inhibit his career he'll have his War Pension and his VC Pension as a means of ensuring that he doesn't have to live in distressed circumstances.
 
#20
If they boot this guy out there is something seriously wrong .......when I THINK OF ALL THE Wasters .including tossers on drugs who have been allowed to continue serving !!!! :x


All the unfit , fat idle sick lame & lazy should be taking a serious look at themselves ........all the Op tour dodgers , all the whinging wives !!

I once served with a guy who'd had his foot crushed by an FH 70 for the youngsters amongst you that was a big field gun ........they sent him back from BMH Munster .....no x-ray no plaster cast ....a slack handful of pain killers & soldier on !!! :?

Which he did ...including tabbing a good 15 Kms on an annual ORT complete with bergen, webbing & weapon , other ration thieves were already wimping out after a couple of K#s this guy tabbed on ...we were the last section in miles behind the rest ....but he was still carrying his own kit unlike some other wasters !!

Time to offload the freeloaders and get some real soldiers back !!

Surely even our self serving hierarchy can see past their own careers long enough to ensure this man gets a fair deal ?
And I hope someone is ensuring the media are paying through the nose for his story !!
 

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