no, this isn't about that shitty US tv show which i've no idea if still exists
rememberence day, all that, for some reason got me thinking about Help for Heroes. charity for ex-service personnel, very strong public image, bags and bags of tabloid support etc. great and all that.
but heroes, really? i remember when i finished secondary school, there were a couple of folk who went and joined the army. they weren't particularly heroic at school, more the sort of low-level unpleasant bully who likes to use physical strength to intimidate people. but they were 16, and a lot of people are like that at 16. maybe they became heroes. maybe they went to afghanistan and sacrificed their life with covering fire so a bunch of aid workers could get to safety, or something hollywood like that. or maybe they dropped out after 6 weeks.
i'm a bit uncomfortable with how it seems the armed forces have, in the lexicon of the red-top press at least, become automatically "heroic" and the only people entitled to the description, pretty much. i've come across vaguely heroic people in everything from the fire service, to the ambulance service, to teachers, to hell, just everyday office workers. i met a civil servant who'd risked her own life saving some kid who fell in an icy lake once. civil servants! the bete noire of The Sun. yet this lady was a hero.
realise this sounds like i'm harshing on the armed forces. frankly, i don't have an opinion, but i do have a hunch that joining the armed forces does not automatically make one heroic. maybe it's just the language of the press i'm objecting to. hell, if anything's likely to make someone heroic, serving in a conflict zone's fairly high up the list.
tl;dr, but thoughts anyone?
also, at least this thread's guaranteed to root out alex-in-ciderland if he's still lurking. i await his frothy-mouthed response in unequivocal defence of the armed forces if he is