Valuing our ex servicemen and women

As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, in which the greatest number of British service personnel died in any of our wars and conflicts, it is fitting that we focus on those who did not come back. But I would like in this blog entry to ask you to think a little about those who came home from this, and other conflicts, and how they integrated back into society.

Staffordshire has a proud military heritage, and we should remember that our predecessors in 1918 spoke of making a country fit for heroes to live in. Just as we do now, they worked on building houses and providing jobs for the men and women who returned. I believe that this effort is as relevant today as it was in 1918; we must encourage young men and women to serve in our armed services, and, as importantly, make every effort to integrate them back into civilian society at the end of their service.

There is something about military service that brings people from all backgrounds together, and that is especially true of people who have experienced service in war and conflict. I am always surprised when I meet ex-service men and women who have been out of uniform for up to 70 years, at how they focus on their military service as one of the most important periods of their lives. There are a small proportion who are physically or mentally damaged by their service, but most of us emerge more confident and capable, ready to serve wider society just as we did in uniform.

With many of us now enjoying more than one career in our life time, I would encourage all employers to consider the huge rewards that having a ex-service person on their side and in their team could have.

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2 Responses to “Valuing our ex servicemen and women”

  1. Thomas Cook says:

    I wouldn’t agree with paragraph 3 at all. I served my self for 7 years and I have been mentally damaged and struggling as are most the people I know that have left. But saying “There are a small proportion who are physically or mentally damaged by their service, but most of us emerge more confident and capable, ready to serve wider society just as we did in uniform.” makes out that anyone affected by their service is not confident and not capable.

  2. Tim Gateley says:

    After serving 35 years in the Royal Navy and seeing action in the Falklands (HMS Glamorgan), The Persian Gulf (Iran/Iraq War, Desert Storm and the Northern Peninsula) and Yugoslavia I cannot remember anyone asking if I was mentally damaged I just thought “my father went through worse than me and he came out okay”. This year I will be joining others at our local cenotaph and planting three crosses, one for my father, one for my brother (Army) and one for the 14 shipmates who died in the Falklands. Remembrance is not just for one day but stays with you always