Sunday, November 25, 2007

Things could be worse, UK edition

This definitely falls into that category:
Injured soldiers who lost their limbs fighting for their country have been driven from a swimming pool training session by jeering members of the public.

The men, injured during tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, were taking part in a rehabilitation session at a leisure centre, when two women demanded they be removed from the pool. They claimed that the soldiers "hadn't paid" and might scare the children.

The incident has sparked widespread condemnation. Adml Lord Boyce, a former head of the Armed Forces, said last night the women should be "named and shamed".

These people are beneath contempt and everything should be done to get their names and publish them in the press," he said. "It is contemptible that people who have given up their limbs for their country should be so abused when they are trying to get fit again."


The unpleasant scenes broke out at Leatherhead Leisure Centre in Surrey when the wounded veterans, who are at Headley Court Military Hospital, had to use the 25-metre public pool because the hydro-pool at the defence rehabilitation centre is not big enough for swimming.

The servicemen were about to begin their weekly swimming therapy in closed-off lanes when they were verbally abused by the swimmers.

One woman in her 30s was said to be infuriated by the lane closures saying the soldiers did not deserve to be there when she had paid.

It was also reported that others complained that limbless servicemen were scaring children at the centre.

The atmosphere was said to be so tense that the soldiers' instructors removed them.

Charles Murrin, 79, a Navy veteran who saw the incident, said: "The woman said the men do not deserve to be in there and that she pays to come in the pool and they don't. I spoke to the instructor in the changing room afterwards and he was livid."

Understandably so. If I see something like that happen you had better bet someone is getting a stern talking to and they should be glad that is all they're getting. "They didn't pay." Nope, not at all. I'm sure your 5 pounds or whatever is much more important than his limb.

Kipling had it right...
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!
h/t: Instapundit