I did a press release for my boss the other day encouraging those who served in the Armed Forces to apply for an HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge. Helpfully, I put at the bottom that we would be happy to send out an application form and put the constituency secretary's phone number on it. She has now been deluged by requests for the form and I'm a bit unpopular in the office as she has had to listen to all manner of war stories every few minutes for the past three days. I just reminded her that I sent the press release to our local weekly paper which gets published tomorrow and the we could expect a lot more enquiries. She told me I could "F**k right off". Charming.
I'm going to apply for one myself. I joined the army when I was sixteen (see photo) as a 'Junior Leader' then served for three years in the regulars, the highlight of which was being based in Berlin when 'the wall' was still up. Its frankly a world away from what our troops are experiencing now, and whatever the rights and wrongs are of our foreign 'interventions' the troops are doing what politicians order them to and we should support them wholeheartedly for the hard job they do in difficult circumstances.
Apart from that it was a fairly uneventful few years, where the only harm I inflicted on anyone was when I drove a land rover over a Sergeants foot on excercise in Germany. In my defence it was dark and I couldn't see the chap. I found myself on guard duty quite often for a while afterwards though.