As a trainee at a care home, I often get put on what others seem to think is boring tasks. Most of the time it’s to keep lonely elderly people company.
That’s how I got to talk to a war hero. For obvious reasons I’ll keep his name out of it.
He talks to me for hours, literally hours, about how he joined the Marines when he was 17, to kick the ass of “a German chap named Adolf “. His catchphrase is “and this is true “, something he says every third sentence.
I quite like these stories, and the smile he gets on his face, whenever he tells them, while thumbing his stripes. He often looks at the stripes, point to the middle one, and say it’s the Atlantic stripe and that the medal is in a drawer at home.
I don’t like the military, I don’t like war, but it still gives me a sense of reverence when I talk to this man. What he has done for this country, and what he kept doing after the war.
That’s why it breaks my heart to see him spend the last days of his life in a care home, because his family can’t afford better.
I’ll tell you this, and this is true. UK should take care of their soldiers, even after the war.