US forces back from Iraq... This wouldnt happen in Britain!

#1
The 767 unloaded it's passengers and we all started walking towards
the international arrivals section for customs. The plane was almost
full so I estimate about 300 passengers plus crew had deboarded. As
we hurried to the section we heard one loud voice across the vast room
giving out orders or instructions of some kind. When we arrived we
were almost the last in line and I figured it would take about 1/2 an
hour to process. But suddenly the line of passengers moving forward
came to a stop as a line of U.S. Army troops in camouflage uniforms
came marching towards the four booths manned by customs officers. As
I leaned forward I noticed that the troops had been massed at the end
of the building getting last minute instructions. The entire
passenger contingency was stopped to allow the troops to come in front
of us and be processed through customs. Each booth would process 5 or
so soldiers, actually rather quickly as I'm sure the customs officers
were instructed that questioning would not be necessary as they had
just arrived from Iraq. As the troops were being processed the entire
passenger load and crew stood in silence. The silence was
extraordinary with no one talking, not even in a low voice. All the
passengers starred at the soldiers as each booth would process the
line of troops. We all stood, silent, without one voice of
disapproval that we would have to wait for some soldiers that had
suddenly got to the front of the line. After about 15 minutes of
silence there was heard one person clapping. Then it was a few
joining in, then suddenly the entire passenger load all joined in, in
a crescendo of loud clapping without one person saying anything, just
continuous clapping in proud tribute to these men and women who had
just arrived from Iraq for 15 days R&R.
Our total wait was a little over an hour before 250 soldiers were sent
through. I heard not one word of complaint the entire time.
This was May 14th on arrival to the U.S from our trip to Argentina and
Uruguay.
It was a great feeling to arrive back to the greatest country in the
world.
Eddie
And the reply:

Dallas has one hell of a USO. When my plane landed coming in for
leave, we were greeted with the Dallas (or DFW) Fire Department
spraying water over the plane as we taxied to the terminal. (See
attached picture.) After getting our baggage, we were to catch our
connecting flight to our local airport. Dallas was one of the hubs for
troops departing from and returning to theater when not traveling as a
full unit. To get to our connecting flights, we had to move to a
different part of the terminal or to another terminal. There was a
long corridor that made a right turn and an immediate left turn. At
the end of the walkway was an automatic door that could not be seen
from the beginning of the walkway. However, as we were walking down
the hallway, we could hear the door open for the troops that were in
front of us. As the door opened for them, we heard a lot of clapping.
When it was our turn, the door opened to reveal a sea of people, WW2
veterans, USO volunteers, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and a plethora of
others, gathered to welcome us back to the states. It was impossible
to keep a dry eye at the people who were showing unconditional support
for the troops. Veterans were shaking our hands and patting us on the
backs. The volunteers were giving us hugs. The scouts were handing out
care packages, bags with candies and other treats. As you stepped out
of the terminal, more people were walking around will cell phones in
case a soldier needed to call a loved one. Others had cigarettes in
case a soldier needed a fix. A huge contrast from 9 days earlier when
the hmmwv in front of mine got hit with an IED near CP35 along Route
Tampa just west of Baghdad. Thank goodness the stupid insurgents could
not tell the difference between a high explosive round and an
illumination round. (The TC of the other hmmwv; The driver of the
other vehicle, my driver, the TC of the other vehicle.)
news://alt.binaries.pictures.military
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#2
True, very true. British Forces would get stopped at customs, searched and questioned for 1/2 hour each (after all the civvies had been pushed to the front). If we were allowed to walk throught the terrminal (some fcuking hope!) we'd probably end up being spat on.
 
#3
Idiot post deleted. Time and place Frenchperson , and that wasn't it.

The support the average US citizen gives their troops, and indeed Allied Military is humbling.

Perhaps it's a collective subconscious decison to never again treat the troops in the manner they were treated during Vietnam. Perhaps with the advent of the internet and fastmedia , people can see what the troops go through , can read their blogs and see their own pictures which really brings it home.

The simple fact is, over 60% of the US population think Iraq isn't worth the candle , the President's approval rating is in the toilet, but support for the boys and girls grows.

It would be a good thing for UK civpop to see our people welcomed back like this
 
#5
Am I not right in thinking that British troops fly in & out of military airfields, out of sight of the general public?
If this is so then there is little opportunity for an 'American' style welcome
 
#6
No , they have returned to UK civil airports from time to time?. viz. Staffords into Birmingham.
 
#8
I go to Texas quite a bit and you see bumper stickers on cars almost hourly expressing their support for the troops overseas. I don't think I have ever seen one here. TV coverage there is almost always fully supportive.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Hmm. It's not always perfect. My friend's brother returned from National Guard duty in Iraq, along with a couple of hundred of his colleagues. They travelled on a military plane, directly from a military base. They were all made to remove their boots for scanning before being allowed into the country.

To say that their waiting families were not pleased is a mild understatement.
 
#10
Consider also that in this country no one under the age of 60+ has experienced national service and therefore, unless they happen to live near a garrison town, the average member of the public is unlikely to come in contact with the military. and will therefore have little feeling for it one way or the other.
Media reporting of current British military activity is very limited, even when soldiers are killed in action and so its not surprising that the public are seemingly unappreciative of its armed forces - they are largely ignorant of its activities and more interested in the going ons of showbusiness nonentities.
 
#11
Then how would you raise the profile of the Armed Forces to the British public?

Or to be more specific, how do you get the British public into the mindset of supporting us in a more public fashion?
 
#12
Tricky one that!
Perhaps the TA (if that is still the correct title) could have a more public role and greater involvement in community activities?
Cadet forces still seem to exist here & there - maybe memebrship could be made more attractive to the young?
More 'open days' and military band performances?
Its up to the military to highten its profile in every way it can.
Sadly its all down to resources and 'public relations' gets cut before equipment.
 
#13
Tricky one that!
Perhaps the TA (if that is still the correct title) could have a more public role and greater involvement in community activities?
Cadet forces still seem to exist here & there - maybe memebrship could be made more attractive to the young?
More 'open days' and military band performances?
Its up to the military to highten its profile in every way it can.
Sadly its all down to resources and 'public relations' gets cut before equipment.
 
#14
We don't have the budget for it.

An old OC of mine thought it a good idea that the TA should be available for the next time Upton-under-Severn or any of those towns in that area sank beneath the waves, as they tend to round about Spring thaw.

It would raise profile, be good PR and give the troops experience in working with civpop on minor disaster type efforts, working with blue light etc. Concept sound familiar?

The response when put up the CoC was I believe was along the lines of "Where is the value in that we haven't got the budget etc etc etc"
 
#15
PartTimePongo said:
Then how would you raise the profile of the Armed Forces to the British public?

Or to be more specific, how do you get the British public into the mindset of supporting us in a more public fashion?
It happens every four or five years when somebody goes on strike P_T_P

Fire Strikes
Foot and Mouth
Amblance strikes

Were just waiting for the binmen to go on strike next mate i between our back to back tours.

edited to say well done to all the civvies in US for not complaining in having to wait.
 
#17
crow_bag said:
I was on my way home after getting aeromed'd from Afghanistan earlier this month, and we stopped at a services on the M40. I was still in my desserts on my crutches hobbleing along, and i got some seriously dirty looks of people, and snide comments etc. I wasn't expecting a round of applause or sympathy, it's my job it's what i get paid for, but it'd would've been nice not having people looking down their nose at you because your wearing uniform.

I think Americans are alot better at seeing the difference between supporting the war in Iraq and supporting the troops. Whereas over here it's seen as the same thing and we end up getting lumped in with Bliar instead of beeing seen as a seperate group of people who are there because they have to be and not because they agree with the war.
Hope for a speedy recovery for you and fcuk them they dont deserve to clean your boots(or boot) good luck with rehab.
 
#18
crow_bag said:
I was on my way home after getting aeromed'd from Afghanistan earlier this month, and we stopped at a services on the M40. I was still in my desserts on my crutches hobbleing along, and i got some seriously dirty looks of people, and snide comments etc. I wasn't expecting a round of applause or sympathy, it's my job it's what i get paid for, but it'd would've been nice not having people looking down their nose at you because your wearing uniform.

I think Americans are alot better at seeing the difference between supporting the war in Iraq and supporting the troops. Whereas over here it's seen as the same thing and we end up getting lumped in with Bliar instead of beeing seen as a seperate group of people who are there because they have to be and not because they agree with the war.

It would have helped the cause of the Armed Forces in the UK a great deal if the PM had taken the trouble to attend repatriations on a regular basis and visited those injured in Selly Oak and other establishments. The resultant media interest would have highlighted to the British people the suffering and sacrifices being made. George Bush has been seen running with limbless recovering veterans, over here it appears as though our injured and even their relatives should be shut away and silenced. The US is my 2nd home, the genuine warmth of feeling for their Armed Forces and returning veterans comes from the heart and is not jingoistic. Our country is letting down it's military.
 
#19
A friend of mine at fort campbell wrote this when he got back from his last tour in iraq. He was quite angry at the way he was treated.


We are Soldiers,
trained to fight.
We are soldiers,
who train day and night!

We don't always,
sleep in a bed.t
Sometimes we dig holes,
to rest our head.

There are civilians,
who just cant see.
The reason for this,
is so they are FREE.

They bitch, whine and cry,
while we're deployed.
Will they ever shut up,
were starting to get annoyed.

They get up in the morning,
to a nice hot shower,
Then waste precious water,
on a stupid little flower.

But not us soldiers,
who live in the sand.
We use buckets and spoons,
to start a fake band.

See, our entertainment,
is different than theirs.
So for them to bitch,
just isnt fair.

When they're at work,
with thier finger up their ass,
Or in their yard,
playing in the grass.

They should thanks us soldiers,
who died in their name,
And the ones overseas,
still playin' the game.

Yea we all bitch,
bit it's OUR right to do.
Compare our jobs,
we make less than all of you!

And all of you athletes,
that go on strike,
Cus' you want an exta Mil',
to bike a new bike.

Think about the Soldiers,
who get paid shit.
Same ones that envied you,
til' u decided to quit.

Put yourselves in our boots,
I dare you to walk a mile.
I bet your sorry asses,
could'nt crack a fake smile!

We can't go on strike,
and we dare not quit.
For death could come knocking,
our throats could be slit.

Unless you're a veteran,
shut your mouth and say no more,
Kepp your asses at home,
and let us fight this War.

Remember who gave YOU,
the freedom to vote,
And the job of your choice,
to buy a fur coat.

Next time u say something,
show support for us,
But shut YOUR damn mouth,
if your gonna fuss.

Appreciate your freedom,
and for us say a prayer,
Us soldiers over here,
doin' what you would'nt dare.

WE are the men and women,
of the U.S Armed Forces,
Giving up OUR lives,
for your stupid choices.

Go love your family,
and appreciate there worth.
Many of us Soldiers,
wont see our first childs birth.

Now get off the sidewalk,
and put down your sign.
The choise to serve,
was none other than mine.

See, this job isn't about money,
its all about PRIDE.
So thank the families,
whose Soldiers have died!

Now open your eyes,
and realize what we do,
WE keep America free,
and it's all for YOU!!
 
#20
Well said that man DARBS :D
 

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