Rogue Gunner has posted about a decline in homeless ex HM forces personnel since 1997 Read Here . It's always annoyed me how ex services people could be allowed to end up on the streets. Obviously each one has his own story to tell.
There's always a bond between ex forces despite inter regiment rivalry. I've had a few come through my custody suites, and I always try to give that little extra. One who came through was an ex para 2 Reg. I'd heard about this chap years ago, rumour had it he was the inspiration for a film script "For Queen and Country", starring Denzil Washington. I don't know if that's true.
The handover stated he was problematic and demanding. I popped to see him, all he wanted was his inhaler and a shower. This had been refused so of course he kicked off. No problem is it for somebody who's served their country. Sorted that out for him and we started chatting. I fronted him as ex forces and he asked what I was in, before calling me a crap hat. Connection made, and no problems for the rest of the shift. I had him out for a fag break and a coffee a few times where he recalled his service. He might have been down in life but the pride of what he had been was evident.
He could of been spinning me a line, but stated he'd been involved in one of the major set backs for the British Army in Northern Ireland, where several troops were lost in action. I asked if he'd sought help from Forces charities. He stated they didn't want to know, but I believe his lifestyle might have prevented him getting help.
I'm glad these men are getting some help. They deserve it in front of others who turn up in the UK. Their circumstances need to be addressed. Most hostels insist on being dry, pretty hard if you are street drinker.
Each and every one of these men, will always be my brother.
CRAP HAT = Anybody who wore a different cap badge