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Militarisation of our society

(113 Posts)
trisher Fri 07-Apr-17 22:40:38

When I was growing up most of the men I knew had served in at least one war and some had served in 2. I never remember any of these men doing anything to draw attention to this. They never wore any form of uniform, never wore their medals even on Remembrance Day and never really spoke about their experiences. Today I see ex-soldiers wearing berets and medals at many events. I wonder if this is a sign of some sort of militarisation and increasing glorification of war, something I know the men I knew as I was growing up would have entirely rejected. I find it disturbing.

Luckygirl Sat 08-Apr-17 08:00:45

My Dad sent his medals back and refused to ever talk about what he had done during the war.

However, I have not felt that there is a recent militarisation of our society.

PRINTMISS Sat 08-Apr-17 08:09:08

Surely not a glorification of war, so many of them must have served in horrific situations. Perhaps they are just proud of the fact that they served and it does us no harm to respect that. Of course if they are just wearing the clothes as 'uniform' of the day, that is another matter, but we should not judge a book by its' cover.

nina1959 Sat 08-Apr-17 08:39:54

I think sadly we live in a time where self glorification is the thing.

Teetime Sat 08-Apr-17 08:45:38

I like to see medals worn on official occasions and I'm grateful for all that our service personnel have done and continue to do for the safety of us all.

Greyduster Sat 08-Apr-17 08:56:08

No it is not a "glorification of war". Former soldiers who have been involved in one are the last people who would glorify war or any sort of conflict. Keeping and wearing of headgear and medals is, for many ex servicemen, a sign of comradeship, love of and pride in their former regiments and remembering those comrades that they lost. They are not worn lightly.

TerriBull Sat 08-Apr-17 09:05:28

I don't think so, who can say, it's a personal thing to some people if they draw comfort from it then why not, maybe it's carthartic for them. After my mother died and I was sorting out papers etc. I found my father's medals, he didn't talk about his experiences or mark Rememberance Day in any way, he just wanted to move on, but everybody is different. I know my dad was in North Africa for most of the duration of the war and all I know is that he ended up with an enduring hatred of sand as a consequence and would prefer stoney beaches to ones with sand.

trisher Sat 08-Apr-17 11:09:02

Thanks for the posts I like the idea of comradeship and it has raised another idea for me that when I was growing up all the men had similar experiences and didn't need to identify others.

Greyduster Sat 08-Apr-17 11:49:28

If you join a regiment in the Army, you always belong to it - even when you retire. It's a family. True, some people belong more than others; my DH was never "Army barmy", but he still has friends who were in the same regiment and they get together from time to time; about the only time he wears his medals these days is at official reunions and he doesn't go to many of those. My father never wore his medals. I don't think he even looked at them. His attitude was that he didn't join the Army, he was called up, and therefore had no sense of belonging afterward. He was just proud to have done his duty like all the other men. He did, however, treasure his cap badge (which I still have). He said it was the only thing that went right through the war with him and he would have been upset to lose it.

Swanny Sat 08-Apr-17 12:11:26

trisher I find your OP 'disturbing'. In our youth the majority of men had been conscripted to fight wars and they had all had similar experiences, so many felt there was no need to talk about it. However, the treatment of those mentally or physically affected by those experiences was abhorrent, hidden or even non-existent.

Today's servicemen and women will wear badges and medals with pride when appropriate, to remember their colleagues and to express solidarity with each other, never to glorify war.

thatbags Sat 08-Apr-17 12:34:01

We have no conscription (of men or women) so, no, we are not a militarised society.

swanny's remark about the mental illnesses caused and exacerbated by war action made me wonder if acknowledgement of that and the debt we owe to the military (even if we'd rather not!) is what is being "-ised" when medals and uniforms are worn, that they are to honour those who fought, those who were injured physically or mentally, and those who died.

rosesarered Sat 08-Apr-17 12:58:13

No, we are not in a militarised society at all.Medals are worn at reunions and official days such as Remembrance Services.All those who were called up and served in WW2 recieved different medals ( campaigns) and of course there were medals for outstanding bravery or devotion to duty.Career soldiers are a different thing and do wear their medals with pride ( and why not) for different occasions.
We have had no National Service here for a long long time ( unlike many countries)
And have less 'honouring' of the armed forces than some countries too.

M0nica Sat 08-Apr-17 13:57:42

What glorifies war are those endless computer games that seem to think that fighting and death are all adolescent and immature men ever think about. Ditto the endless stream of violent films aimed at that age group/mind set.

trisher Sat 08-Apr-17 19:08:51

I agree M0nica but I do wonder if this is part of the idea that there is something glorious and heroic about war. We know there are individual heroic acts but I worry that it is now being portrayed as something our fathers and grandfathers knew very well it wasn't and the wearing of medals and berets is an indication of this.

vampirequeen Sat 08-Apr-17 19:23:43

DH says there are two types of ex-soldiers. Those who want to get on with their lives and not talk about the things they saw and did and others who can't leave it behind for a variety of reasons whether that be the need for comradeship from others who have suffered war or the need to discuss ad infinitum. All are ways of dealing with the same horrific events. Different people have different needs.

What he can't stand are ex soldiers (like my BIL) who have never been in a combat situation telling young kids what a marvellous life it is and making it sound like one long adventure holiday.

Eloethan Sat 08-Apr-17 23:35:43

I absolutely agree with you trisher. I find that there are more and more frequent mentions of either WWI or WWII in the national and local news and other programmes. Even on a property programme a few months ago there was an item about military equipment, with the presenter speaking about an armoured tank with such admiration and describing it as "magnificent".

The Quakers have produced a report which I feel backs up their belief that we are becoming increasingly militarised.

Eloethan Sat 08-Apr-17 23:38:21

For those who are interested, here is the link to the Quaker report

durhamjen Sun 09-Apr-17 00:01:08

It's a bit worrying how much emphasis there is in militarism in schools according to that document, Eloethan.
I know there always have been cadet corps, but hadn't realised how much extra money had been put into it by Gove.

durhamjen Sun 09-Apr-17 10:49:47

Band of the Coldstream Guards on Marr this morning, on Palm Sunday.

whitewave Sun 09-Apr-17 10:56:11

This hadn't occurred to me before trish

vampirequeen Sun 09-Apr-17 11:07:25

I think the government are psyching us up for conflict.

whitewave Sun 09-Apr-17 11:08:19

Bloody Hell!!!!

trisher Sun 09-Apr-17 11:09:24

It was the crowd outside the court at the Blackman trial that made me look at things more carefully. I know they were only supporting a comrade they felt had been victimised, but the fact that they seemed to have forgotten the fact that someone had been killed and they turned up with medals and berets disturbed me. I then started thinking about how many events now have a military feeling and people wearing uniforms and/or medals and it seemed to me they were on the increase.
Thanks for the Quaker report Eleothan

whitewave Sun 09-Apr-17 11:13:31

Yes trish I noticed that. It wasn't so much that they were wearing their uniform, but their behaviour that worried me.

paddyann Sun 09-Apr-17 11:20:38

The Blackman trial made me very uneasy ,we always complain about other countries military being " not of the same standard as British soldiers" yet we ...or rather his friends were all happy to acccept shooting a wounded man/prisoner ...double standards from the Brits? Surely not!