Lack of sense and compassion.

Discussion in 'Charities and Welfare' started by soldiersmum, Sep 11, 2006.

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  1. I don't know if I am even putting this on the right site. I lost my son who was serving in the army and was killed in an accident last year. I wish I had good things to say about the way families are treated after the bereavement of a child but so far this has not been my experience. I am talking about by the army/MOD etc. It can only be described as shabby.
    Today I got a letter telling me that I cannot have a wall plaque memorial marker for my son unless I pay for it myself, of course I will end up paying for it myself, this in not the point, there is no common sense or kindness or compassion, if your child is killed you get either the choice of the book of remembrance or an urn plot marker, if your child is buried this is paid for and the grave maintained for 100 years. I don't want any of these options,
    His friends want to pay their respects, there is no grave, they cannot all attend on the anniversary of the day he died to see the book of remembrance, His ashes are not interred, so a wall plaque would be the right thing, but no I cannot have this, well I can if I pay for it myself which I will.
    Why is there no degree of flexibility, no common sense, you have what we say and that is it. Well I wish my son was still alive, I wish he had been looked after a bit better and he might still be and then I wouldn't want a slate wall plaque would I?
    Thank you army, thank you MOD, thank you compassionate centre and aftercare support cell.
  2. Firstly, sincere condolences on your loss, I'm sure nothing any of us can say will ease your pain but believe me when I say the thoughts of ordinary soldiers are with you.

    I am not in the least bit suprised at the MOD's reaction, unfortunately it seems to be the typical response we have come to expect from these faceless and cowardly bean counters. If it is any small comfort, they are held in well deserved contempt by the majority of squaddies.

    If I can make a suggestion, you should maybe think of contacting your local Britsh Legion Branch and explain your situation, they are very good at dealing with situations like yours.

    Once again deepest sympathy.
  3. Soldiersmum. I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your son last year. While I cannot in the slightest equate to your suffering and anguish I would like to support you in your annoyance of the MoD welfare system. My wife and I have first hand experience at the unfeeling of the MoD. Based on our experience I believe it is because Welfare Officers are appointed and 'trained' as a stepping stone of their own personal miltary career. Who fills that slot depends on many factors but cetainly not if the person is a suitably caring person or not. So, I assune this goes all the way to the top.
  4. Sorry to hear of your loss...I think you should drop this chap a line...

    Des Brown
    Labour MP for Kilmarnock & Loudoun
    Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (since 8 May 2006)

    These may be of interest:

    And just to keep him on his toes ...try Dr Liam Fox - shadow SofS for def.

    I'd also suggest you contact your local MP, i'm pretty damn sure one of the 3 will make some mileage out of this and get you an answer. No point starting at anywhere other than the top of the pile is there.... happy hunting.
  5. Thank you for your comments, I have already been in touch with my MP, but still think it is unbelievable. After the loss of a child how much fight do you have left in you? and really why should everything be such a struggle?

    There is no scope for common sense, all that happens is that it leaves a really bitter taste, and such anger.
  6. Precisely, when you've given literally everything you have, why should one have to continue to fight for common sense. It must be exhausting just thinking about it. And I know I would be treated in just the same way if I were in such a predicament. It make me mad.
  7. I was closely involved in the aftermath of one of our military families in Germany suffering the loss of their soldier husband and father. I have to say that I was incredibly impressed with how the system 'kicked-in' to support the family administratively, logistically and practically. I found the level of compassion, flexibility and common-sense very reassuring. I'm saddened and surprised to hear that Soldiersmum's experience has not been so positive.

    Soldiersmum, I recognise that you have lost your son, so the association I'm about to recommend to you doesn't exactly 'fit the bill', but you might wish to consider contacting the Army Widow's Association. They may have some relevant experience that could benefit you in your difficult circumstances. You can contact them via or 01980 615962.

    Good luck.

    This is a very good point and well made. As it happens, I'm a volunteer UWO and have fought long and hard with my CO to allow me to stay in post beyond a year as it's something I enjoy and have some interest in.

    Many other UWOs are simply appointed as their first role as a newly commissioned LE officer. They are in no position to argue against it and accept the 'poisoned chalice' of UWO for a year and get out of there as soon as possible. Hence, we see disgruntled former Infantry RSMs (I know this is a sweeping gerneralisation and unfair to some very good Inf RSMs - but you get my point) who were bellowing at their soldiers on the Fri, suddenly having to try and be compassionate to a distressed wife with 3 screaming kids on the monday.

    Not exactly putting square pegs in square holes is it?
  8. Skid 986, thank you for your reply and your suggestion, but I have run out of steam now, I have in the past contacted different people since the death of my son, my MP included, I don't have any fight left in me, I am certainly not going to go cap in hand for £200. All that I have come across with the very rare exception is brick walls, very large brick walls.
    This now seems like the ultimate kick in the teeth. When I know how much money is wasted, this is a drop in the ocean to the MOD, but as their letter explains 'it is not their policy to allow for a plaque, but should I still wish to pursue a memorial plaque, I am of course at liberty to do so, however this would be entirely at your own expense with no refund from public funds'.
    I am under no illusion whatsoever now to expect anything at all, not even honesty and truth.
    13 months after my son died we have still not even had an inquest, I also think that wifes/partners with children are probably treated differently to parents, single soldiers don't count for that much.
    Sorry to sound bitter, but that is how I have been made to feel.
  9. Hello again SoldiersMum, regarding an inquest. I know it will not be a consolation to you but I think that in the future many parents such as yourself will form a support group and an inquest will happen by way of this and give you renewed hope. That may be something you will have to instigate personally at first or as part of a group.
  10. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I lost many friends on ops and accidents during my service career but was never able to reach out to the families, DPA Confidentiality etc. My impression was that the priority was to find a trained replacement above all consideration for any family ties especially if he was young and SINGLE. 20 or 30 years ago the Armed forces actively recruited those from misplaced backgrounds, unstable home environments, parental problems and so on. They have still not realised that although these problems are still there, presently existing escape environments are on the increase. Most soldiers today join the army coming from loving family backgrounds under the threat of greater danger than that experienced since WW2.The MOD has not yet grown into this environment, the reason being it will cost money and another soldier dead is a mouth less to feed until his replacement arrives.
    I hate to sound bitter but realism has to kick in sometime.
  11. Ok, further to conversations with other members of the site, it has been suggested that we should pay for the plaque.

    It has in no way been suggested by soldiersmum, but if the MOD wont budge on this, then we could help.

    The plaque costs £200

    Anyone who wishes to donate, please click on the link below

    Edited - Amount received with thanks
  12. Cheers Dozy, anyone else?
  13. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    Keep it bumped Moody - end of month and therefore payday coming up!!