I've been in the RSL many times but last night, was the first time that I'd ever been in at the earlier time of 1800hrs.
There we were sat having pre-dinner drinks when suddenly, the last post kicked in, the lights dimmed and a little 'spiel' was said (all recorded) - finishing with 'we will remember them.....lest we forget'.
Everybody in the place, whether on gaming machines, at the bar, in the restaurant or playing keno stood up or stood still, remaining quiet for the duration. It was poignant, respectful and in no way tacky and on further investigation, it transpires that this happens EVERY SINGLE DAY at that time.........(as you old sweats reading this will, of course, know).
I can honestly say that I am continually blown away with the way the Aussies respect their service members and carry out their remembrance. Superb!
As an Expat, now living in the USA I quite agree with you, the way that the US military is treated over here is 200% better than I ever remember when I was serving.
I can remember the night in barracks after my 1st NI tour, 4 of us decided we wanted a quite drink, prior to going on leave.
So finding a quiet pub, nowhere near the barracks. we popped in, just to have a couple of pints.
Only to be promptly refused service, because we were squaddies, it was a long time ago, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I went to Washington DC, last year, and went to see the tomb of the unknown soldier.
Prior to the changing the guard, which is every half hour the duty sgt spoke to the assembled crowd and briefly explained the significance of where we were, He also asked us all to stand, needless to say, we all did, and you could have heard a pin drop.
I emigrated to aus in 96, as an ol fart who had served with australian troops in malaysia , borneo and thailand, I joined the local RSL, the medical back up service for veterans young and old is fantastic and other services are second to none,free transport to hospitals homecare, minor home and garden work done free of charge,with my injuries and disabilities,If Iwas still in UK I am sure I would not be living,all I can say is Thank You RSL keep up the good work!!!!!!
You talk about us Aussies and the RSL at 6pm every evening, look at this one doing the round in the USA, maybe just trying to drum up some support, but just like the Aussies, the yanks (and the other Amurricans) do seem to give better support to not only their troops but also their Veterans.
This is another one that may interest people, showing the move in the USA to show support for their forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, maybe a similar move here in Australia, and perhaps in the UK as well, to show support, would be of great help, would maybe make some people think more carefully about the welfare of those who serve.
When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport , Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac.
During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport , Major Steve Beck described the scene as so powerful: 'See the people in the windows? They sat right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what's going through their minds, knowing that they're on the plane that brought him home,' he said 'They will remember being on that plane for the rest of their lives.
They're going to remember bringing that Marine home. And they should.'
The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. 'I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it,' she said. 'I think that's what he would have wanted'
Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing blue every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority' We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing.
Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -- and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something blue. By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of blue much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in BLUE and it will let our troops know the once 'silent' majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on. The first thing a soldier says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is .'We need your support and your prayers.' Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear something blue every Friday..