They Aren't (Weren't) All Heroes

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by TTH, May 8, 2014.

  1. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    AS far as I recall - most Veterans did NOT claim to be more than just ordinary people doing an extraordinary task - so you are

    depressed and disgusted at the current mis behaviour of ONE Veteran out of how MANY millions - It was the Americans who dubbed

    ALL Veterans as being the "greatest generation" - no one else.

    The Veterans I knew freely admitted to being "scared to death " prior to action - then set aside all fear and just got on with it

    and did what had to be done…that doesn't depress nor disgust me…

    Mr Jinks and 4jonboy like this.
  3. Hesmond

    Hesmond Well-Known Member

    I recall back in 1992 in Kent at Maidstone crown court a ex WW2 veteran being prosecuted for booze and ciggies smuggling ,he used his ex WW2 service and that he could not live on a pension as a excuse for his frequent booze runs , he stated on TV outside the court " I only do it to sell to the boys down the legion" when he was found guilty and sentenced it was estimated he owed at least £750,000 in unpaid tax !
  4. two dogs

    two dogs Member

    If you can't do the time,don't do the crime.
  5. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I know very well that most veterans were simply ordinary men who had to do extraordinary things under enormous pressure. However, some don't realize that and now and again it is good to be reminded that acheivement in war does not equate to happiness or success in anything else. I don't know if this fellow was scared or not; most likely he was, like 99.9% of all soldiers. He was on Monte Battaglia, which was a horrible place. My kudos go to anyone who could be in a place like that and survive it, let alone win a Bronze Star as well. Yet it is still depressing to me to read a story like this. One never likes to see a man who was distinguished in youth and war go to pieces in old age and peacetime. No doubt you know some men like that yourself. I started a thread about soldiers who lost themselves after the war and sank into disreputable and criminal behavior, but it didn't catch on. This is another such case.
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Said it before, but I think the fact that WW2 was fought by ordinary blokes from a standard mix of backgrounds is far more interesting than all that 'Greatest Generation' crap.
    Saints, sinners, brave, craven, and all points between.
  7. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I agree.
  8. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    NOT the 'Greatest' but for those who lived in the cities, towns and villages of Britain and endured six years of a life and death struggle, its outcome unknown, is testimony to their spirit as a generation that deserves to be honoured and remembered 'warts and all' for what they did and how they did it.

    On my way home, concerned about the years ahead, silently vowed that whatever would befall me I would try by my reactions to life never to dishonour my Fallen Comrades. So I have tried to live and tell the sons of those with whom I served how proud they should be of their Fathers and of the generation to which they belonged.

    Joe Brown
  9. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    can only agree with you to honour those who served even if it was only on one mountain of the many in Italy and elsewhere

  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    The Greatest Generation thing may have started across the pond but it's managed to find fertile ground over on this side as well. The term "Ultimate Generation" has even been used on this forum. It sounds all too glib and banal to my mind. No lack of respect intended from me... ie I admired my father for what he was, as the sum total of all his experiences; certainly not for someone else's idea of what he represented, and not just for his service years.

    I agree with others who think it's far more interesting to acknowledge the humanity of those who lived through WW2. Warts and all indeed. Placing an entire generation above all the rest does not help us learn from our history or from our own nature.
  11. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I go along with what Diane and others have said about those of us who, strictly by fortune, were born in the 20's and served during WW2.

    To be fair to our generation, I don't think we ever claimed to be anything special or different from later generations but it is equally disingenious to ignore the fact that we were coloured by our experiences and this sometimes shows in what we have to tell about those frenetic days.

    As they used to say, life moves on and so, when we are no longer here to bore you with repetitive reminiscences, there will be other media made "heroes" on which to despair.

    I particularly liked A's "Human" ......... You could do worse than be described as such :)

  12. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Without wishing to condone the effects of what he has done, I have to admit to a certain respect for someone of ninety who still seeks excitement and adventure. His motivation is wrong but I suspect that he's just the sort of person who would have kept his cool in battle. If he'd been running moonshine then I certainly couldn't condemn him...

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