Bit of a rant this: Here is my problem with the Help the Heroes idea. Why the fuck don’t they get all the help anyway? These boys knew, unlike a lot of more idealistic American troops that they were involved in a large politico-economic game for control. They knew whose bidding they were doing, putting their limbs and faculties on the line for a political cause so why isn’t their medical care and attention a ‘given’ from this war.
A Eurofighter costs 90 million euros to build (125m if you include development and production costs. Build one less. Put the money into medical, social, psychological and economic care for the injured. 90 million euros will go far. That’s over 50,000 euros for each injured solider (figures from the MOD). That figure relate to all military personnel from all services injured. 256 of the 1,792 injured personnel were categorized as very severe. It is these guys we need to focus on with that 90m. That equates to over 300,000 euros each.
That’s not enough for a lifetime I understand but isn’t it better for the nation to spend that money on helping our soldier rather than another Eurofighter which surprise, surprise we barely use. We have 62 already out of an order of 160. As General Dannatt stated in 2010, we haven’t used more than 20 aircraft on any active operation since World War 2. Yet we have over 100 aircraft to defend British airspace from…. ummm?
I understand why people run marathon and raise money for Help the Heroes and it is a worthy cause. It gives us a sense of commonality, a feeling of doing your bit etc and is admirable. I happily give money to them. But on greater reflection, I have to wonder why these men and women injured in the line of duty in either a war we all questioned (Iraq) or in an endless attempt to quell the unquellable (using war anyway) are then left to charity to serve. I am sure they appreciate it. But I know they shouldn’t have to rely on it. It says more about the real sense of responsibility our politicians feel for our military. Its a tool to callously abuse rather than cleverly use to enhance our standing.
(Don’t even start me on the electronic signature Rumsfeld used for the fallen letters in the US)