Can it be true that ex servicemen are tramps?......

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by fly_past, Oct 31, 2007.

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  1. On radio (talksport) yesterday it was said that 23% of tramps (down and outs.....) in the UK are ex-servicemen. How can we let that be in the UK?

    How does that occur? They didnt elaborate on that point.

    Dont fancy being one, any tips.......
     
  2. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    Cut down on your drinking before you leave.
     
  3. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    The problem lies in the way a serviceman is treated when he leaves the service.
    Take he case of a 40 year old single leading hand. For 22 years wherever he has been sent he has been provided with food and accommodation. Suddenly it's a case of thanks Jack now you're on your own.

    Compare this with an ex convict released from jail after perhaps 9 years. He will almost definitely be provided with a council flat on his release.

    What is a country coming to when it treats villains better than those who serve it.
     
  4. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    It's a sad fact of life that certain ex Servicemen who were looked after 24-7 by the firm and had most decisions made for them do not survive in civvy street.

    Alcoholism and other things make servicemen a higher risk of becoming homeless.

    The never give up approach coupled with debt and refusing to ask for help are the main reasons this happens.
     
  5. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......


    Explain?
     
  6. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    Have to agree slim. It's an absolute disgrace. If anybody ever sees a homeless person that appears to be ex mil then try to get some details of them and pass it on to the Royal British Legion. I live in Norn Iron and we don't seem to have many homeless over here. If I am on the mainland & I see a homeless ex servicman I will go and buy them a milkshake and a cornish pastie or something similar. I don't give money incase it is spent on alcohol.
     
  7. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    Servicmen have a mindset of never ever giving up and not contemplating failure. To that end if faced with divorce/debts/bankrupt they will plod on and probably ignore things as they don't contemplate failure. When it all eventually goes Pete Tong they are emotionally shattered. It's a conditioning thing.
     
  8. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    Deby County.....
    Thanks for the explanation.

    Have to say that after 15yrs service I am leaving and a bit worried about my future - My wife (has made mutterings about decorating and pausing at paint pots....) wont let me get too big for my boots... Gonna have to get a job now.

    So what can the British Legion do for our ex-oppos?

    And I have also bought a cuppa for an ex RAF Regiment tramp who I got talking to at Kings Cross. He was genuine - i asked his service No, and without hesitation he gave one letter followed by 7 numbers. we nattered until my train was about due to go. Ended parting with cash at Tabaco store ( I dont smoke) after buying him pack of 20 fags and box of matches.

    God bless em.
     
  9. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    1. Don't be Scottish.
    2. Don't walk your dog on a piece of string.

    :lol:
     
  10. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    That would make 77% NOT ex-servicemen. Still disgusting though.
     
  11. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......


    Sadly, it was always thus. Here's a poem from the 19th century (1892), by Rudyard Kipling:

    I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
    The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
    The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
    I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
    O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
    But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

    I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
    They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
    They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
    But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
    But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
    The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
    O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

    Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
    An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
    But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

    We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
    Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
    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;
    An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!
     
  12. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    Take he case of a 40 year old single leading hand. For 22 years wherever he has been sent he has been provided with food and accommodation. Suddenly it's a case of thanks Jack now you're on your own.

    22 years and making the dizzy heights of killick, he's on to a loser before he leaves!
     
  13. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    Not everyone has the ability to rise above LH. In fact some do not even get that far.
    However this does not make them losers. I knew several three badge hookies and more than a couple of three badge FAs during my 22 years.
    If they had been loser's then the RN would not have allowed them to complete 22 years. Old and bold LHs are extremely useful in many billets.
    I knew one who worked LEM(A) who worked in stores liason, if I needed something this guy could always obtain it, he kept the squadron running smoothly.
     
  14. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    I remember when proper tramps were called 'Gentlemen of the road' and had a deal of respect from a lot of people; one used to call at our house and my mother would always feed him, we were taught to respect him.
    They may or may not then and now have been ex military, but it occurs to me that some of them choose that way of life.
    As someone else mentioned simply because after 22yrs service someone is just a Leading Hand does not mean they will be unfit for the world outside either; there again they may be and this is were they need support, something which seems lacking.
    The drinking culture which pervades the armed forces, and a lot of other professions, can't help in adjusting to the outside world either. However if I met one I'd give him the price of a pint without hesitation.
     
  15. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    I think the real problem lies predominately with the Army (although it certainly isn't limited to them) what kind of career skills does an Infantryman gain in 22 years for example. The sensible kind realise this and prepare themselves for going outside but there are characters who jump outside in a manner befitting a lemming with what amounts to reckless abandon. I have just had an RAF Cpl leave at the end of his engagement with absolutely no idea or care what he is going to do - yet he has a wife and three kids, has been living in service quarters and has no savings for a home of their own. I consider myself a good DO and have spent so many hours with him (as have others who work for me) and we all feel like banging our heads against a wall because we can see where he's heading, and he's actually one of the better ones.

    I do wonder however if the incidence of people leaving and resorting to vagrancy is not falling (don't know any stats) simply because (and its only a perception) the resettlement process seems more swept up and people are more clued up about ILC and ELC entitlements. I wonder if that extends right down to all the ranks?

    This of course isn't taking into account those poor souls who suffer Post Traumatic Stress and find themselves incapable of holding down jobs.
     
  16. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    It could well be that the 'Gentlemen of the Road' from my youth were those poor individuals badly damaged mentally by war.
    Looking back it is obvious to me now that there were, as is reasonable, an awful lot of people like that; including a lot who went into the teaching profession, and we just thought to be a bit dotty.
    Mind you I walked out of Victory without a job and nowhere to live, and, don't remember anyone even showing any concern, or asking. There was an office in Brighton which dealt with accommodation for ex servicement and the two ladies in there saved my neck.
    If things are better now then all well and good.
     
  17. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    This is not the first time this issue has made the news. In the past I'm pretty certain there has even been documentaries. It is true that many who live are so institutionalised from serving for 22 or more years without ever having had a job outside and without having made arragements to get their own homes that they simply cannot cope or have absolutely no where to go.

    All good DOs who have personnel due to leave the service should encourage them to make arrangements or contact RBL, White Ensign or whomever to get assistance. Housing is the biggest issue as without a permanent address it is difficult to get work or benefits.

    Perhaps this is another area which needs to be pushed in the building campaign about looking after the Boys (and Girls) in uniform.

    SF
     
  18. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    The necessary advice is already there for service leavers, but you cannot make it compulsory... :roll:
     
  19. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    All well and good, but in my experience, no answer is forthcoming unless you know the questions to ask,(in other words, most will not volunteer information unless asked) and unfortunately, having watched a fair number of guy's leave due to cut backs and not being re-signed for more years after the old 20/40 plan, you can see it in their eye's...what do I do now, mind you this was back in the early 90's.Things may have gotten better for outside job training or life after your divorce from the mob....

    It can be culture shock for some, I have always maintained that the cut-off date for making a choice is 10yrs, if you survive those first 10yrs and want to make it a career, then go for it, try to get the 20 or 22, but then if you hang on for the magic 35, don't even think about trying for a job after that, course the pension and no kids at home might soften the blow...but it's a minefield after 20/22...
     
  20. Re: Can it be true that ex servisemen are tramps?......

    Sadly I have to agree with you on that one SPB. Too many are too backward in coming forward when it comes to seeking advice and assistance from the system before they leave. The reality of life often only hits home ... and hard ... when they stand there and watch the Writers cut up their ID cards when their time is done.

    SF
     

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