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

jinxy

LE
I was toying with joining the police but couldn't get in at the time as my late dad had been a naughty boy and got a criminal record. He, my grandad and great grandad were all ex army, so foolishly I thought I'd combine the two and joined RMP. The rest is history. ;)
My old man tried all three services and the police, didn't get in any. A family trait is we are all tall and skinny. He was classed as malnourished. (as a scaffold ganger)I think he was proud and a little envious at my passing out parade.
 
I saw the thrilling shots of the Falklands conflict and wanted to be a Para because they always seemed to be front and centre.

Norbury recruiting office swiftly talked me out of it by explaining how much PT would be involved so I ended up driving a Fox for 6 years.

The other main motivator was that I was making a living stealing motorbikes (lots of lads in New Addington we’re doing it ) and jail was certain in the foreseeable future.
 
Lucky Amy. Obliging girl, I take it?

I joined because I didn't really know what else to do; I'd been in the Air Cadets and my eyesight wasn't quite there to be a pilot. If I'd done badly in my A-Levels, I was going to apply to be a Sapper however I did OK and went to uni, so commissioned instead.

I deployed on Herrick 9, 13 and then 19-20 (offset due to being part of JFSp(A)). I really thought (hoped?) we were trying to make some kind of lasting positive difference.

The events of the past few weeks have really hit me quite hard. I'm still friends with my former interpreter, and he is in bits (though luckily he / family are in Canada). I just feel so badly for all the Afghans who just want to educate their kids, feed their family, and life a quiet happy life.

In my year, it was an Amanda!
 
Mid 80's and coming from a small village it was either carry on the farm or factory work in East Grinstead or Tunbridge Wells which were declining at the time. 5 of us from the village ended up joining the forces, 2 in Royal Sigs, 1 in Princess of Wales, 1 RAF and me RE, bearing in mind there were only about 20 kids in the village it was a pretty high proportion.
 

Mbongwe

Old-Salt
Maybe speaking out of turn here having been a mere Reservist (with the Andrew, at that!) but having been deferred from military service in my mid-/late teens, my interest and desire to join in some capacity never totally diminished, and then I woke up in my 30s and realised I could fulfil some kind of a role to support the Services that protected my country, and so I did...
 
Mid 80's and coming from a small village it was either carry on the farm or factory work in East Grinstead or Tunbridge Wells which were declining at the time. 5 of us from the village ended up joining the forces, 2 in Royal Sigs, 1 in Princess of Wales, 1 RAF and me RE, bearing in mind there were only about 20 kids in the village it was a pretty high proportion.

Impressive Engineers footprint in and around Chatham
 
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.

Would be nice if, having read what others have written on the following pages, you now felt in a position to share your own joining story.
 

ches

LE
The latter belongs in the Army Myths thread...

I was once lucky enough to spend a night at RAF Waddington & those buggers were getting more than one sausage off the 'chef's at brekkie. We even went back for more..........christ them were the days........84 or 84 tri-service orienteering comp or something like that.
 
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 ****.
Whereas I mostly agree with what you say, the statement (in my bold) is far from the truth. When we lost our son I had to forcefully f*ck off reporters from our door, eventually the Police had to have a presence for a few days. The day after the media started their latest rendering of clothes I very forcefully but politely gave a reporter who called directions where she should go, my better half had been in bits all day because "kind" people on Facearrse were posting stuff about it (including my sons story and pictures of his coffin being carried by his mates two of which are now also dead) and many of them were from the now defunct SSAFA Bereaved Families Group who should know better but want 5 minutes of fame over their dead child.

Not us thank you very much.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Interesting post elsewhere from a multi-lateral amputee of my acquaint, hope he won't mind if I re-post here, for the good and benefit of the Troop, 'cos it says it all:

We gave freedom, we gave hope, we sacrificed, we lost friends and family, we carry the physical and emotional scars everyday.

The people of Afghanistan have had a taste of a better life and a better existence and I don’t think it’ll be something they’ll be quick to throw away.

They’ve been exposed to a different way of living, a better way, a way worth fighting for.

I, like many I’m sure have been contacted constantly by the media over the last few days to give a comment on the current situation but I’m wise enough now to know that what they’ll want to ask me is ‘was it worth losing your limbs for’

I have a beautiful family, constant opportunities and I live a good life, I probably could have got that another way with a lot less trauma but these are the cards I was dealt.

I know that I can say with my hand on my heart and ignoring all of the politics that we had a positive impact!

We saved and changed lives and I’ll forever be proud of the small part I played in that.
 
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I was only a stab, and a somewhat mediocre one at that, though I’ve never lost my affection for the RE. Joining the Regs just never happened for one reason or another and after my time with the TA became impossible to continue, I eventually need up working for the MoD in support of the military. So in a roundabout way I got to experience a lot of what I always wished to.

A lot of the people I know from my area who joined up did so because, with the demise of the shipyard and much of the apprenticeships, there was nothing else to do that didn’t promise a miserable existence.

As to what people died for, whatever it was it must have mattered enough to them to have been there.
 
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I was a bit of a juvenile delinquent and thought that the army might provide some of the same thrills, but in a socially acceptable (i.e. legal) context.

On a more positive side, I thought I might benefit from structure and discipline. Whether I did benefit is a moot point even today... I also wanted a job that required brains but wasn't academic.

The army offered travel, adventure and a short cut to manhood - and took care of all the things that I couldn't be arsed with at that age, like finding jobs, paying rent and bills etc.

Basic training was very different to the recruiting spiel and battalion life was very different to the basic training spiel. Some brilliant times and some terrible times, but even when it was lousy, it was intense and frequently very funny.

If I learned anything from the army, apart from coming face to face with my own weaknesses and character flaws, is that human beings are capable of literally any stupidity, wickedness and evil. The insights I gained into human nature are worth their weight in gold and have served me well.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Padbrat, with uncles also serving.

Just something I always wanted to do.

Leaving was a big mistake, but left on crutches with a knackered knee as was popular in the mid 90s.

My career path since has shown me that I am not a 9-5 type of worker.

Wonder what the upper age for the FIDF is?
 
Padbrat, with uncles also serving.

Just something I always wanted to do.

Leaving was a big mistake, but left on crutches with a knackered knee as was popular in the mid 90s.

My career path since has shown me that I am not a 9-5 type of worker.

Wonder what the upper age for the FIDF is?
76, as long as you can take down a Penguin in unarmed combat.
 
Not that easy. King penguins are just the right height to smash you in the balls with their beaks, the dirty rats. Try walking through a nesting colony with your arms folded if you want a test of real courage.
 

964ST

LE
All “Penguin„ are dangerous, wether working in gangs or as individuals!

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IMAG0038.JPG

Do not pick a fight with the „seaslug“.
 
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RMP(V) RAF Reserve Police, RNR Regulators etc. NHS had similar. Curiously, the AA would only allow its members to join RMP but then again the wartime emergency military telephone exchange would be supplemented by the AA's own telephone network, which makes sense as the TPs , Traffic Points, would be along major roads and motorways for convoys.
*straying off topic* (Germany and Belgium had their own 'Secret' wartime telephone system along main routes for which we would be given an 8 fig grid to dig up and plug into. Bu**ered if I could ever find it from those and would end up knocking on a door "Guten Morgen frau, wo ist das uber sekret telephone (wink wink) " in best Basil Fawlty German (even if I was asking the question in Belgium)

The fire fighter's skill-at-arms was a puzzle but perhaps it was their skill at climbing high ladders that made 10 Para the armed wing of the London Fire Brigade in the 80s because there were so many in it.*

*Despite this the LFB parachute display team was not the best. At Bermondsey Carnival one drifted over to the river but fortunately the tide was out, one landed in a garden, and another landed upside down in a tall tree and lost half his jumpsuit. The reaction of their colleagues was initially inspiring , the engines blueing it to the tree, the crews piling out, and then falling about laughing, videoing the guy with his arse hanging out and a stillshot being that years xmas card.

And that's why you get GEAS training.
 
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