As a Director of British Veterans, I am sorry to see that you have formed the opinions that you have - conclusions which I hope were made in the absence of the facts.
So where do I begin. I am proud to say that I served in the Infantry for 19 years â specifically in a County Regiment that continues to demonstrate all that is great about the Army and HM Forces in general. I feel privileged to have done so and, despite being retired these last 14 years, remain loyal to the Regimental Family and its ongoing work. I am also an avid reader but â as you will see from my posting record â a very poor contributor to ARRSE. I do not hide in the woodwork nor am I a scammer or a blagger â although I rather enjoyed the fact that Tremaine seems to place me in the same exalted company as Steven Spielberg!
For me, the past 5 years running British Veterans have been a labour of love â not a scam or a âmoney-makingâ rip-off. A colleague and I established British Veterans back in 2003 after discussions with the MOD and the realisation that a formal Veterans ID Card was unlikely to be introduced in the near future â and as we saw earlier this year is still some way off. We felt that there was a majority view that there was a need to be able to prove former service without carrying discharge documents all the time. I acknowledge that this view is not held by every ex-serviceman or woman but equally British Veterans is not a compulsory membership.
Our stated aim is that there should be a formal Veterans ID Card and when, and if, it is finally introduced, we will continue to honour existing memberships until such time as they have all expired or transferred to the MOD scheme â discussions in this regard are continual. And yes, the MOD subsequently introduced the Veteransâ lapel badge but this does not confer identity not proof of service of the wearer. As you will see from our website, I am happy to comment on these issues under my own name.
I have posted before in a previous thread about how we run British Veterans:
Let me if I may, address the money issue in this thread. British Veterans is constituted as a company limited by guarantee and the accounts are registered at Companies House. We run British Veterans essentially as a not-for-profit organisation investing any surplus funds into marketing to increase awareness. The two directors used their own capital to establish the organisation, which from my part is still a loan outstanding, and we have never drawn a salary, bonus or dividend. British Veterans employs one part time Membership Secretary and my time running the organisation and, for example, manning a stand at the Duxford Airshow next weekend is unpaid, in my own time and in conjunction with other employment. The Â£15 joining fee covers the cost of the production of the card and administration costs â part-time Membership Secretary undertaking proof of identity/former service and data-entry. (Bear in mind that whilst the cost of materials is low, the card printer is by no means a cheap purchase.) The Â£12.50 annual membership fee covers overheads, communication with members, liaison with Partners, website maintenance, statutory charges and costs, etc.
British Veterans is primarily an Identity Card that proves former service. We have sought to provide a range of benefits to members by creating Partnerships with commercial organisations that acknowledge what it means to be a Veteran and offer discounts. These Partnerships are completely transparent in that there is no cost to the commercial organisation and the entire discount is passed directly to our members: i.e. British Veterans does not receive any commission from any Partner (unlike many other similar schemes! And donât forget that the MODâs Defence Discount Directory is now run by a commercial business: Crest Publications Ltd). And of course, the British Veterans Recognition Card acts as proof of service for any company that offers a discount to ex-servicemen and women â including many companies in the USA.
If you still have doubts, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone or email us â contact details on the website. British Veterans may not suit everyone and we fully acknowledge that but we honestly strive to deliver a meaningful service that has real value to all our members.
Didn't bother reading all the the blurb by Bonilack,got bored,got me vetrans badge for nothing,aint paying Â£12.50 pa for a bit of paper...Got me red book to prove service..I know a few walts that might want one tho'
A fella in work with me carries one, he made it himself on his PC, and is very proud of it, but he's a bit of a harmless walt after doing about 10 years in the TA, and is extremly proud of his service , is it going to harm anyone. But the little red book is the real proof.