The 'What did they die for' thread

Why would you have died for the army?

  • To get away from an abusive family

    Votes: 4 4.9%
  • To get away from a place with no job prospects

    Votes: 20 24.4%
  • To avoid ending up in prison through bad life choices

    Votes: 4 4.9%
  • Because they had no education to speak of

    Votes: 4 4.9%
  • Because life had just shat them out and they had no other option available to them

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Because they were in a rut and couldn't find another way out

    Votes: 10 12.2%
  • For shits and giggles

    Votes: 40 48.8%

  • Total voters
    82

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
As surely as I can't nail two bits of wood together without causing an explosion, the press is now starting to fill up with pictures of soldiers coffins and 'what did they die for?' heart-wrenching spiel.

With my blood currently boiling over and out of various orifices, I feel compelled to mention to people that dare utter that sentence near me that they died for:

A wage

Because sure as shit no-one I shared a squeaky bum moment with was ever in Iraq or Afghan to 'free the people' or change the way the country worked. Every single one of us was there because we were getting paid a fairly decent wedge of cash to do so, and also someone with a pointy stick would shout at us and make us do press-ups if we didn't.

If we look even deeper than that though, there are numerous other examples of what they died for:

1. To get away from an abusive family
2. To get away from a place with no job prospects
3. To avoid ending up in prison through bad life choices
4. Because they had no education to speak of
5. Because life had just shat them out and they had no other option available to them
6. Because they were in a rut and couldn't find another way out (this is me)
7. For shits and giggles (That'd be the guy who in my basic, said he joined up as he was on his way to Borders bookshop to pick up FHM and thought '**** it, why not' as he passed the recruitment centre)

As in, they died because they joined the army.

It's a fairly reasonable assumption to make that doing one would lead to the other - history tends to have a good supply of examples, and yet we are treated with the woes and wails of people who maybe need to look a bit harder at themselves for the reasons that young Johnny fucked off and joined up.

We lost three lads in Herrick. Absolutely devastating. There's nothing like holding the upper half of a grown man, trying to figure out how to put an FFD over the open wound that is their entire waist as he gently moans out before dying to put things into perspective, but each one had in theory of a choice to not go, not to do it, not to be there. It started with not signing up in the first place, or simply refusing to soldier and taking the hit that comes with that.

Yet they signed, they went, and each one was there doing a ******* top notch job. Each one also knew what a waste of time it was being there and how things would go to shit the moment we left, even as soon as 500m down the road when the insurgents would just wander back in and knock **** out of the villagers we just tried to protect.

We can blame politicians, and rightly so for making such ill advised commitments, but whether wee Johnny was in the army or not wouldn't have mattered, the army would have still been sent to Iraq, Herrick, Glasgow, or some other place at some other point in time and people would still have died.

I would like to think we all knew the risks we took on. None of these lads were stupid (well....) and there wasn't one of us who wasn't afraid at some point, but we cracked on, did our job to the best of our abilities and maybe, just maybe, made a wee difference for someone, somewhere out there, however temporary.

The press and families making a big grieving show about all of this now the inevitable has happened and they should realise how much they're disrespecting their lost loved one, and realise that if that soldier could speak to them from the grave, it would probably be to say, "Get a ******* grip mum. The rest of the lads up here are laughing at me.".

So, if you had been deployed and killed, what would it have been for?

The poll is up. If it's not there, let's hear it. 'Got a lass pregnant, dad was a monster, had to flee for my life', 'Whistled on a Tuesday', etc.
For me, I was in a rut of work and nothing else, and needed to get out of it.

P.S - Worth keeping an eye on Snapchat. Go to the world map, tap on Kabul. Some very interesting videos there of chaos, panic and suddenly lots of guns.

EDIT: The options are mainly negative (as pointed out) because it's aimed at the people wailing and grieving (or attention whoring, as it's known) who maybe were to blame or could've fixed those reasons. Plenty of people joined for solid, strong and sensible reasons - career, Queen & Country, getting your hole etc, but my anger is aimed at those people who could really have helped young Johnny onto a different path if, as a parent, they'd actually given a ****.
 
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Call me naïve, and I probably was, but I joined up as a result of what I perceived to be my duty.

I actually did join up to serve Queen and Country, rather than the somewhat ignoble choices in the poll.

The good thing was, having discharged that duty, I was probably in a better place mentally to leave than some, who no doubt would have returned to whatever they were avoiding by joining up.

Perhaps I was young and stupid, and lucky that my service was before Afghan and Iraq. As a result, I've no right to, because I wasn't there, but I still feel immense sadness at what's going on there at present, and an overarching sense of "WTF was it all about?". But then again I had strong misgivings 20 years ago about the whole thing, bearing in mind the British and Soviet experiences there.
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
"Truth! Justice! Freedom! Reasonably Priced Love! And a Hard-Boiled Egg!"
In all honesty, I wanted to be a soldier.
edit.
Reference the parents, fortunately my parents were of WWII vintage and would have never grief whored in public over it.
 
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theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
Various family members had been in the forces, I was given the family medals before I left school.
My civi job was ok, but it was just a job.
I joined up as it seemed like the right thing to do.
 
Signed up to serve my Queen and Country ,and family tradition of service to the Crown.
It was accepted you would take on the chin whatever shite came your way.
 
As surely as I can't nail two bits of wood together without causing an explosion, the press is now starting to fill up with pictures of soldiers coffins and 'what did they die for?' heart-wrenching spiel.

With my blood currently boiling over and out of various orifices, I feel compelled to mention to people that dare utter that sentence near me that they died for:

A wage

Because sure as shit no-one I shared a squeaky bum moment with was ever in Iraq or Afghan to 'free the people' or change the way the country worked. Every single one of us was there because we were getting paid a fairly decent wedge of cash to do so, and also someone with a pointy stick would shout at us and make us do press-ups if we didn't.

If we look even deeper than that though, there are numerous other examples of what they died for:

1. To get away from an abusive family
2. To get away from a place with no job prospects
3. To avoid ending up in prison through bad life choices
4. Because they had no education to speak of
5. Because life had just shat them out and they had no other option available to them
6. Because they were in a rut and couldn't find another way out (this is me)
7. For shits and giggles (That'd be the guy who in my basic, said he joined up as he was on his way to Borders bookshop to pick up FHM and thought '**** it, why not' as he passed the recruitment centre)

As in, they died because they joined the army.

It's a fairly reasonable assumption to make that doing one would lead to the other - history tends to have a good supply of examples, and yet we are treated with the woes and wails of people who maybe need to look a bit harder at themselves for the reasons that young Johnny fucked off and joined up.

We lost three lads in Herrick. Absolutely devastating. There's nothing like holding the upper half of a grown man, trying to figure out how to put an FFD over the open wound that is their entire waist as he gently moans out before dying to put things into perspective, but each one had in theory of a choice to not go, not to do it, not to be there. It started with not signing up in the first place, or simply refusing to soldier and taking the hit that comes with that.

Yet they signed, they went, and each one was there doing a ******* top notch job. Each one also knew what a waste of time it was being there and how things would go to shit the moment we left, even as soon as 500m down the road when the insurgents would just wander back in and knock **** out of the villagers we just tried to protect.

We can blame politicians, and rightly so for making such ill advised commitments, but whether wee Johnny was in the army or not wouldn't have mattered, the army would have still been sent to Iraq, Herrick, Glasgow, or some other place at some other point in time and people would still have died.

I would like to think we all knew the risks we took on. None of these lads were stupid (well....) and there wasn't one of us who wasn't afraid at some point, but we cracked on, did our job to the best of our abilities and maybe, just maybe, made a wee difference for someone, somewhere out there, however temporary.

The press and families making a big grieving show about all of this now the inevitable has happened and they should realise how much they're disrespecting their lost loved one, and realise that if that soldier could speak to them from the grave, it would probably be to say, "Get a ******* grip mum. The rest of the lads up here are laughing at me.".

So, if you had been deployed and killed, what would it have been for?

The poll is up. If it's not there, let's hear it. 'Got a lass pregnant, dad was a monster, had to flee for my life', 'Whistled on a Tuesday', etc.
For me, I was in a rut of work and nothing else, and needed to get out of it.

P.S - Worth keeping an eye on Snapchat. Go to the world map, tap on Kabul. Some very interesting videos there of chaos, panic and suddenly lots of guns.
Whilst I am in agreement with most of your post, I’m a little confused by the (almost exclusively negative) voting options available. How about giving people like me a vote - I genuinely joined because from a very young age, I had always wanted to be in the Army and nothing else would do. I enjoyed a full and long career, including quite a few Operational deployments, but can honestly say that when I finally left, I had few regrets.
Yet I can see where you are coming from if that makes any sense?! I suppose Squaddies see things differently from Civvies.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
I believed in Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and the Labour Party's vision of killing as many innocent foreigners, particularly Muslims, as possible.
 
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I believed in Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and the Labour Party's vision of killing as many innocent foreigners particularly Muslims, as possible.
Having sworn the oath of loyalty etc., I basically went where Mrs Thatcher sent me. Not sure I would have taken that from subsequent Prime Ministers.
 

Polyester

War Hero
I was bored (probably a common theme) and wanted adventure so joined up. I was also prepared to pay the price if it went wrong.

The media need to sell papers. So it's to be expected that they'll report it in this way. What's less understandable (to me at any rate) is when the british public, and worse, service persons start parroting the media's narrative.

Nobody died in vain. It was their job and it carried that risk. Simple as that.
 
This is quite a crass thread. It appears to follow the current narrative that those who died in Afghanistan died for nothing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s not soil their memory.
 
As a bored apprentice plumber ,Instead of seeking military career I joined the air farce . Rigger Job description included , 'must be prepared to travel the world working at height'. This looks like a job for me !! Once I was in however we had the IRA running around and the attack on Akrotiri when I was there . Sunday afternoon and pissed . That rifle and ammo . Yes I wanted to fight kill and possibly die to have a go at the bastards who had a go at me and mine . " Why did you shoot him 20 times sac trigger? Ran out of ammo sir .
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Whilst I am in agreement with most of your post, I’m a little confused by the (almost exclusively negative) voting options available. How about giving people like me a vote - I genuinely joined because from a very young age, I had always wanted to be in the Army and nothing else would do. I enjoyed a full and long career, including quite a few Operational deployments, but can honestly say that when I finally left, I had few regrets.
Yet I can see where you are coming from if that makes any sense?! I suppose Squaddies see things differently from Civvies.

I've updated my post with an edit. It's not really aimed at people who made sensible choices based on sensible feelings or situations. It's about the people grieving (in full view of social media / press) right now who could maybe have helped their family member take a different path in life. It's also written whilst frothing at the mouth so will not be my usual rational musings... :)
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
An understandably angry post. Whilst I'm not qualified to answer the poll other than from some forces mates, the simple phrase "lions led by donkeys" springs to mind.

My mate Andy joined the Navy because he basically didn't have a home to go to when he left university, divorced parents & he argued with both of them. 22 years in submarines.

John#1 is a Marine. Straight out of school as soon as they'd let him in. Never ever wanted to do anything else. Gets hoofed next year due to age. Won't know what to do. Will probably go back as civ contractor.

John#2 is ex-RM now RAF in a ground role. Joined as an alternative to being locked up for being a bad boy. Juvenile repeat offender. 22 years in before transferring to RAF. Can't say more because still serving.

Paul joined REME after college because it offered a good career. Another one with over 20 years in. Similar my mate Frank also ex-REME.
 
I enlisted and subsequently deployed a couple of times for a decent wage & to be employed in a role that I felt had some meaning/ purpose to it on a personal level. I wouldn't conflate this with 'Queen & country' as I'm not really patriotic tbh - I consider myself simply lucky/ fortunate to have been born in a first world nation. I also had no previous family that had served.

I wanted to do interesting things, which the army enabled, & I also wanted a nice life for my wife & I, which a few years based in Germany also afforded on top of the wages. If I had been killed it would just be shit luck but basically as an unlucky consequence of earning a living doing something risky.

A death attributed 'For Queen & country' elicits a feeling of mild nausea or bemusement much like some teenage tit wrapping their Corsa around a tree and their subsequent family saying' 'E's with the angles now!1one' on social media. You may have died in service of your mates or your unit but it's essentially meaningless attributing it to some 'higher purpose' unless you died in a war for 'national survival' or whatever. Service personnel have died recently generally for those involved in the industrial military complex to continue to line their pockets, or some despot to siphon funds to their Swiss account.

I've said on a few threads, I don't know why (ex) serving moan about Tony, Bush etc sending us on 'illegal wars'. If it's part of your older-self reflections post service on the strategic pointlessness of it all then fair enough, but as a young bloke you must surely want to test your trade 'for real' after months/ years of training. I never heard a single bloke during my time in moaning about going to Afghanistan (again) because 'Ah ****ing Tony/ Labour/ Bush/ pointless wars blah blah blah ad nauseum'.
 

jinxy

LE
The Military did quite well out of my school year. 2 Navy, 1 Raf, 6 Amy. 1 Royal marine, That was just my year group. Most of us did 10 + years, 1 got a late entry commission, the Raf lad was a navigator, and now a Professor. I can't speak for the others as I have lost touch.
 

RTU'd

LE
I had aspirations to serve a long time and go LE.
In reality I got paid, was fed, made life time friends and got shouted at.
4 years of never getting shot at, but seeing other's getting the treatment from the IRA etc.
Anyone who signed up gets my respect, however long they served.

My Father served for King, Queen & Country on National Service.
 
Joined because I really didn’t know what else to do. I had planned on joining the RAF to do ‘something’ - Regiment looked cool but was advised not to by a former Gunner as it would be a waste of my intelligence. I might have had intelligence but thick as a whale omelette and was looking at General Duties (Ground) as it looked to have an interesting mix of jobs. Basically like the Pioneer Corps for the RAF but without the glamour.

I had ran a shop and was at the time working as a temp at Barclaycard. No real prospects there but was an adult instructor at a Cadet unit (after Scouts and then ATC it was a logical progression).

As my mate was doing the BARB test I went along too to have a go. We both scored pretty much top marks - the staff were chuffed as we were a change from the Pioneers, Kingos and Kennel Maids they usually sent off to Training.

Chose Int Corps - went down for an interview and MLAT (by a WO2 Cheese, so a Cheesy MLAT). Passed again but would be a year until I joined up. So chose R Sigs instead in a trade that worked alongside the Int Corps. Spent about half my career in NI - which I grew to love. Did Iraq and Afghanistan (including the invasion of the former). Never got Balkanised so missing a slackhandful of gongs from that. Had good times and bad and whilst never a thruster was pretty well liked by most people I think.

After a full 24 I left, now a Reservist and finally in the RAF.
 

jinxy

LE
Funny isn't it, I always wanted to join the RAF as a pilot but as things turned out, I gave up a cadet glider pilots course to join the AAC. The guy who told me you could be a pilot in the AAC with no qualifications in 3 years, did just that. I don't regret it Gaz, I'm glad you done so well.
 
I joined for the sex, glamour and palm trees. Jobbedy jobbed!
 
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