The last military hospital in Britain is to close. It is a kick in the face for the military from a spiteful, penny-pinching government that has always hated soldiers even though they know they are needed.
This news comes following horror stories of injured soldiers treated in civilian hospitals. War injuries must be treated differently – the soldier’s mentality demands it. I recall a story I heard from a hospital ship during the Falklands Conflict.
I don’t know whether it is true, but I heard it from several sources. And even if not, it perfectly represents the mentality that must surround those casualties. As soldiers came round from their injuries they began making parrots to give to the next ones who came in missing a leg.
This is black humour at its worse. But it is just exactly the way comrades deal with other casualties. It allows no time to descend into depression, and it brings you straight back to the remarkable comradeship witnessed in battle.
Without this form of immediate treatment, horrendous problems face the soldiers who are being crippled by this government.
© Anthony North, Mar 2007
More current affairs on North's Review. For deeper issues, see Beyond the Blog.