Tuesday, October 03, 2006

British Soldiers Need Your Moral Support...Now More than Ever!

Updated at 11:30AM CDT: The Sun notes "Troops may receive pay perks" though actually it's tax breaks, not more pay.
PM Tony Blair has ordered a major review of pay and perks for brave troops on missions overseas — in a massive victory for a Sun campaign. His plans were revealed just hours after Tory leader David Cameron told The Sun he wanted tax breaks for Our Boys abroad.

UK Armed Forces are the only ones in NATO who pay income tax during combat.
Hard to swallow isn't it? They not only get ignored or disparaged in public, not only get treated with no dignity or respect in hospitals when wounded, but they also must pay income tax on their combat duty. I had no idea. Please read on and send a letter to a British soldier!!

In a followup to my never-ending plea for folks to write to troops in A-stan and Iraq, the British press this weekend has given us lots more reasons to reach out to the UK soldiers fighting for our freedom in Afghanisan.

At EU Referendum, you can read the politics of it all. The British press isn't helping the to support the troops, and the troops can feel it. A related story in the Daily Telegraph tells of the indignities suffered even when British troops have served and made it home, injured. Read the story about the hospitalization of injured British troops, then write a letter of thanks to one of them to try to compensate for this blow to their morale and human dignity.

To refresh your memory, my plea to support troops--all troops, not just US troops--started when I saw the note on Sept. 18, 2006 in David Frum's Diary referencing Charles Moore's Sept. 9, 2006 column in the UK Spectator:
[...] When soldiers take part in campaigns which are politically unpopular at home, their courage and dedication are less appreciated. I am told by the father of a British soldier just returned from six months in Iraq (and soon off to Afghanistan) that our troops in Basra receive very few letters of support from people at home, whereas their American counterparts have many letters, cards and parcels from complete strangers. He says that such messages cheer the soldiers up tremendously.

Actually, my enthusiasm started even before that, when I founded the Barfly Baking Brigade, but this was too much to take. Just think about it. Letters are a lifeline to a soldier cut off from the world he or she knows, getting no letters, no supportive words, no baked goodies or CARE packages--no acknowledgement at all for the sacrifice you made and are making every single day.

Now imagine sitting next to someone, your NATO colleague, allegedly working side by side on equal terms--but they are getting supportive letters and packages in droves. Okay, maybe not droves, but US troops have the support of a huge number of organizations. The Brit's seem to have fallen through the cracks. They bleed and die just the same as we do and are sacrificing their sons and daughters to the same cause.

If the British people as a whole can't or won't write to their own troops, we in the blogosphere can, can't we? To make it really easy for you, here are the addresses again. Just write to anyone, anonymously, say anything but WRITE and let these folks know they are not forgotten, they are appreciated and their presence on the front lines of the War on Terror matters to someone in the Free World. It's your freedom they're fighting for, isn't it?

British Soldiers in Iraq:
HQ MultiNational Div (SE)
Basra, BFPO 641

British Soldiers in Afghanistan:
HQ Helmand Province Task Force
Camp Bastion, BFPO 792.t


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