What Doesn’t Change Will Stay The Same
I presume that nine times a term, three times a year, the Yeoman of Signals at Sandhurst gets asked the same question, “why are we practicing radio procedure when we haven’t yet seen a radio?“. I also presume that the answer is always the same, “so that when you are up to your neck, you can call for help“. Another of the sayings that came my way was “What doesn’t change will stay the same” from my Colour Sergeant.
Reading Jamie Kennedy’s powerful piece titled “When I Left The Army” from last week, confirmed this.
Veterans leave the forces with minimal direction and often unappreciated by the public, from the point of view of both the skills that they offer and what they have been through. This week’s announcement that Veterans will be officially recognised by the government – and hopefully therefore by society – by way of a Veterans’ sign on official documents, is a small glimmer of light in the darkness.
Government and society seemingly move at glacial speed. We have now more veterans that have seen active service than at any time since the Second World War, accompanied by the issues – including mental health issues – that inevitably follow leaving the forces after armed conflict. However, as slow as government and society are, there are pathfinders that are blazing a trail and moving with the speed that modern business, and mobile communications, allows.
Veterans’ Network is one, and there are many more up and down the country, such as Warwickshire Veterans Where society has dragged its feet, these organisations have stepped in.
So, while we await society catching up, we can band together, communicate and aid each other through the organisations set up to do just that. There are few Veteran-specific issues that they haven’t already seen, or know someone who has seen it and can help. From tax to trauma, re-settlement to rights, someone knows.
It starts with the click of a mouse, or the swipe on a screen, but join in as soon as you are able
– what doesn’t change will stay the same.
Written by the Veterans Network writing team.