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Thread: The word "Hero"

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    The word "Hero"

    Just checking the headlines on sky news and this one got me thinking - Afganistan: Hero Confronts Defence Sec."

    Is the word "Hero" no interchangeable with the word "Soldier"? And is it therefore becoming over-used and losing its significance?

    I don't want to get into the 'are they, aren't they' debate because we'll be here forever and a day. Just thinking that "Hero" is now being read as "Soldier" and isn't really much of an accolade any more.

    Discuss.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keeno View Post
    And is it therefore becoming over-used and losing its significance?

    Yes
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    The Sun considered Jade Goody a hero, so yes, it's lost all of its original meaning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keeno View Post
    Just checking the headlines on sky news and this one got me thinking - Afganistan: Hero Confronts Defence Sec."

    Is the word "Hero" no interchangeable with the word "Soldier"? And is it therefore becoming over-used and losing its significance?

    I don't want to get into the 'are they, aren't they' debate because we'll be here forever and a day. Just thinking that "Hero" is now being read as "Soldier" and isn't really much of an accolade any more.

    Discuss.
    I agree the word 'Hero' is very cliche'd and over used when refering to anyone in uniform who does something brave. Sky News isnt a good news channel though, a bit like a TV version of the Daily Star with hardly any depth and mostly sensationalist headlines to attract viewers...
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    I agree with the point, especially when in comes to Jade Goody, but in this particular case the guy is a bomb disposal expert. Those guys literally have the most dangerous job in the entire armed forces.
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    i think we have to use our common sence when it comes to the word hero and in what context it is used i have heard footballers refered to as heros for scoring a goal well not in my eyes then i have heard the word hero used to describe the actions of a young soldier in iraq who ran into nomans land to save a mate i think we all know when the word should be used and when it should not

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    There are very few true 'heros' in my opinion, low level celebs ARE not hero's.

    I only know one person I would class as a 'hero' based on something he did, but thats it. Far too many people are being called 'heros' for no real reason IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unkle View Post
    I agree the word 'Hero' is very cliche'd and over used when refering to anyone in uniform who does something brave. Sky News isnt a good news channel though, a bit like a TV version of the Daily Star with hardly any depth and mostly sensationalist headlines to attract viewers...
    True, but they have an app for the iPhone, and bbc news doesn't seem to.

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    in my opinion all members of the armed forces who have served or are serving in that god forsaken country, are heroes!
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    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy View Post
    in my opinion all members of the armed forces who have served or are serving in that god forsaken country, are heroes!
    Personally I'd have to disagree. There is nothing heroic about doing the job your paid to do, armed services or not.

    As has been said above a hero is a soldier who runs into no-mans-land to save his mate. A hero is a fireman (or woman) who rescues a family from a burning building. A hero is a member of the public who gives live saving CPR to an accident victim. A hero is someone donating a kidney to save the life of another.

    A hero is defined by a person performing an act of heroism, not just by what they do for a living.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    Personally I'd have to disagree. There is nothing heroic about doing the job your paid to do, armed services or not.

    As has been said above a hero is a soldier who runs into no-mans-land to save his mate. A hero is a fireman (or woman) who rescues a family from a burning building. A hero is a member of the public who gives live saving CPR to an accident victim. A hero is someone donating a kidney to save the life of another.

    A hero is defined by a person performing an act of heroism, not just by what they do for a living.
    obviously easy for you to say while never having actually experienced what these brave HEROES go through on a daily basis!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    Personally I'd have to disagree. There is nothing heroic about doing the job your paid to do, armed services or not.
    Agreed. Most soldiers are just doing their job. Some go the extra mile and carry out heroic acts. Others, such as the SSgt in question, are heroic because their service jobs are extremely dangerous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    As has been said above a hero is a soldier who runs into no-mans-land to save his mate. A hero is a fireman (or woman) who rescues a family from a burning building.
    isnt this just someone doing the job their paid to do also?
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    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy View Post
    obviously easy for you to say while never having actually experienced what these brave HEROES go through on a daily basis!
    There is a difference between being brave and being heroic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitch78 View Post
    There is a difference between being brave and being heroic.
    and you can also be both simultaneously!
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    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy View Post
    and you can also be both simultaneously!
    Granted, they're not mutually exclusive. BUT soldiers know exactly what they're getting themseles into when they join. If someone goes above and beyond the call of duty then yes, they may be considered a hero. The same with firemen, police, doctors. Well pretty much anyone really.

    I went to school with two lads who are now serving in Afganistan, neither of them consider themselves to be heros, they're doing the job they signed up for and love. It seems to be only civillians who grant them hero status.

    Don't get me wrong, I fully appreciate that without them doing what they do I wouldn't enjoy the freedoms I do. But the same could be said for the bloke who turns up for work everyday at the seweage plant. Without him you wouldn't have the luxury of clean, safe running water. Is he a hero? Or just a man doing his job?

    Sorry for the long winded ranting reply, but I felt it needed to be said...


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    ^ I won't bother repeating it.
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    Hero - A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.

    Hmmm to be a hero you have to do something that is outside of what you are paid to do - no offence to our very brave folk who are fighting in Afghanistan - but stepping unitentionally on a bomb, or getting shot at or taken out in any normal warfare situation, is not heroic but is a risk of the job for which they are paid and have signed up for!

    How many time do we have to see certain people _ Harry and Will for example being hailed as war heroes just becuase they stepped foot on war torn areas? have they actually done anything other than been helicoptered (or helicpotered themselves) outta there because its a bit dodgy and the press know you are here!! Sorry if you sign up you have to know that by doing so you may well get youself blasted to pieces, you may get captured and tortured, you are signing up to get shot at and possibly die- not have a lovely garden party where you can have your cake and eat it and then be called a hero!

    Those who do things for others without thought for themselves are the heroes!

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    Yep bang on Spaceylala. As I said before most soldiers are just doing their jobs and know full well what they're getting into and everyone knows the risks most than Joe Public.

    Just a bit of inside information though, Harry did a little more than get helicoptered out. He was there for about 4 months and initially went on patrols with the rest of his regiment. Later on he worked as a Forward Air Controller in a Forward Operating Base and was not allowed out on the ground. By all accounts he was sick of it pretty soon. I'm not suggesting that he's a hero by the way, just saying that he wasn't in a safe place for the entire time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy View Post
    obviously easy for you to say while never having actually experienced what these brave HEROES go through on a daily basis!
    You are absolutely right. I haven't experienced what those brave men and women go through on a daily basis however I do have a close family member who is a serving para and has toured Ireland, Afghan and Iraq (several times each) so I do have some understanding of their situation. I know its not all tea and biscuits and so do the soldiers when they sign up, its why they sign up!

    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy View Post
    [with reference to a firefighter] isnt this just someone doing the job their paid to do also?
    Technically no. Believe it or not, a fireman, or woman, is not paid, in the course of their normal expected duties, to put their own lives in clear mortal danger (entering an extremely dangerous burning building for example) for the sake of others, however irrespective of this many still do. To reflect the difference in expected duties a fireman is not paid "danger money"*, unlike a touring soldier.

    Part of a firefighters job description:
    • attending emergency incidents including: fires...
    • rescuing trapped people and animals;
    • safeguarding their own and other people's personal safety at all times;

    For instance, as far as I am aware every firefighter that went into the WTC towers on 9/11 volunteered or, at the very least, was not ordered to do so. Going into a situation where there is a high probability that they could die was not part of their job description, its was not what they were being paid to do, yet they still chose to do so. They went beyond their duties, forsaking their own personal safety for others. They are indeed heroes.

    Compare that with a soldier, being fully aware when they sign up that they can be ordered into a situation where there is a high probability they may die in the course of their normal duties and are rewarded quite well for doing so. It takes bravery to sign up for that, but certainly not heroism. It takes bravery to sign up for a job knowing full well that a copper back home can be better "tooled up" against a civilian population on a Saturday night than they are against enemy combatants with AKs, GPMGs, RPGs and IEDs (but thats an entirely different discussion!).



    * Source: Staffordshire, and Whiltshire, Fire and Rescue Services Website
    Last edited by Shades; 6th October 2009 at 12:48.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Staz View Post
    I agree with the point, especially when in comes to Jade Goody, but in this particular case the guy is a bomb disposal expert. Those guys literally have the most dangerous job in the entire armed forces.

    No they don't. The whole area gets cordoned/secured first before BDO/U(bomb disposal officer/unit)or ATO (ammunition technical officer) gets on the ground, so the area IS safer than most rural villages in the UK! Secondly the devices being used in the current conflict are very primative, so not much of a drama to "make safe" or "safely detonate" or to do a "controlled explosion". Thirdly, they spend the majority of the time "in the rear with the gear" and only get called forward if a soldier is switched on enough/lucky enough to recognise a device before it does its job (kills). Statistically the most dangerous job in the forces combined is the combat infantryman, and believe me, they have earned the kudos to call their job "the most dangerous in the British Army".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keeno View Post
    Granted, they're not mutually exclusive. BUT soldiers know exactly what they're getting themseles into when they join. If someone goes above and beyond the call of duty then yes, they may be considered a hero. The same with firemen, police, doctors. Well pretty much anyone really.

    I went to school with two lads who are now serving in Afganistan, neither of them consider themselves to be heros, they're doing the job they signed up for and love. It seems to be only civillians who grant them hero status.

    Don't get me wrong, I fully appreciate that without them doing what they do I wouldn't enjoy the freedoms I do. But the same could be said for the bloke who turns up for work everyday at the seweage plant. Without him you wouldn't have the luxury of clean, safe running water. Is he a hero? Or just a man doing his job?

    Sorry for the long winded ranting reply, but I felt it needed to be said...


    Keeno, out!
    No soldier I have ever met (including myself) considers himself a hero. Its an overused word that gets criss crossed and confused with an act of valour above and beyond the call of duty(Military definition of a hero). However, just joining the infantry with the current conflict burning away is a BRAVE act. Any soldier who has been permanently disabled by the enemy, physically or mentally, as far as I'm concerned is a HERO, because believe it or not, losing limbs or being head fu**ed was not in the small print on the contract they signed when they joined. Personal sacrifice for a cause for the greater good of a completely selfless nature is a heroic act, whether the act was intentional or not. You can't even begin to humour a comparison of a sewage worker and a soldier. I would much rather have freedom of speech and the safety of not being blown to pieces in Oxford street while shopping with the family as opposed to having clean bloody water! A sewage worker does his job. A soldier IS his job. You eat, sleep, live, the army when your serving. And no soldier I know has ever wanted anyone or anything to say thankyou or well done. Every one of them knew what they were getting into, and because they were already aware of the risks the potential job entailed, they are a lot braver than the average sewage worker or plasterer. Only certain kinds of people join. Nd they already tend to be more ballsey than a lot of other people. Thats why they join, because its already in them! They just want to get on it with it. And BE their job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Staz View Post
    Yep bang on Spaceylala. As I said before most soldiers are just doing their jobs and know full well what they're getting into and everyone knows the risks most than Joe Public.

    Just a bit of inside information though, Harry did a little more than get helicoptered out. He was there for about 4 months and initially went on patrols with the rest of his regiment. Later on he worked as a Forward Air Controller in a Forward Operating Base and was not allowed out on the ground. By all accounts he was sick of it pretty soon. I'm not suggesting that he's a hero by the way, just saying that he wasn't in a safe place for the entire time.

    Staz. Ref the info, Do you know someone in the Hosehold Cav??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    Compare that with a soldier, being fully aware when they sign up that they can be ordered into a situation where there is a high probability they may die in the course of their normal duties and are rewarded quite well for doing so. It takes bravery to sign up for that, but certainly not heroism.
    I agree with pretty much everything you say there, but "rewarded quite well for doing so"? No, I can't agree with that, they're paid bugger all, especially when you take into account that they're working pretty much 24/7 while they're on tour.
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixv6quattro View Post
    believe it or not, losing limbs or being head fu**ed was not in the small print on the contract they signed when they joined.
    It may not be but anyone going into any (front line) military service unaware of, or not having considered that this may be a possibility clearly shouldn't be thinking about a career in the military (Dealing with the consequences after is an entirely different matter, but they still shouldn't be a surprise). Besides, I find it hard to imagine that there isn't a section covering personal injury or death in a combat situation, either directly or in-directly, in a soldiers contract... would those two things not be the single biggest risk* to a soldier?

    I remember what my family member was like when he came home after his first kill (close quarters with a knife). He told me a little about it but he's got things in his head (Despite all his training he is still only a human after all) that I'd rather not imagine, yet alone have had to have done. Yet like any other soldier does (or at least should do) he knew exactly what he was letting himself in for. Do you think he considers himself a hero for having been paid to take another human beings life? No he doesn't**, he just gets on with it helped in part by the understanding, camaraderie and often dark humour of his fellow soldiers...

    To quote one of his mates, when arriving back at camp after the above incident: "Nice of you to bring the red sauce, but we haven't got any chips!"

    * Other than "Blue on Blue" at the hands of the yanks!
    ** Despite all the typical soldier bull**** and bravado! ;-)
    Last edited by Shades; 6th October 2009 at 15:10. Reason: Forgot an asterisk!

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixv6quattro View Post
    No they don't. The whole area gets cordoned/secured first before BDO/U(bomb disposal officer/unit)or ATO (ammunition technical officer) gets on the ground, so the area IS safer than most rural villages in the UK! Secondly the devices being used in the current conflict are very primative, so not much of a drama to "make safe" or "safely detonate" or to do a "controlled explosion". Thirdly, they spend the majority of the time "in the rear with the gear" and only get called forward if a soldier is switched on enough/lucky enough to recognise a device before it does its job (kills). Statistically the most dangerous job in the forces combined is the combat infantryman, and believe me, they have earned the kudos to call their job "the most dangerous in the British Army".
    IIRC at the last check you are statistically more likely to die or be injured as an ATO than in the infantry. By how much I don't know, and whether that balance has change or not after the recent Op I don't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixv6quattro View Post
    Staz. Ref the info, Do you know someone in the Hosehold Cav??
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    as everyone is entitled to their own opinion, i shall continue to refer to these brave men and women as ''heroes'' and agree and support the use of this word when others are talking about them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy View Post
    as everyone is entitled to their own opinion, i shall continue to refer to these brave men and women as ''heroes'' and agree and support the use of this word when others are talking about them.
    Well, that is your perogative. However, I'd like to be there when you try to convince a soldier he (or she) is a hero simply for doing their chosen job.

    You do also realise you are glorifying an occupation who's main role is esentially that of trained killers? Yes, the modern military may serve several roles (peacekeeping, humanitarian, etc) but when the sh*t hits the fan and it comes down to the choice of "you or them" they will choose "them" without a moments hesitation. I think you'll find that is why no soldier will accept they are a hero for doing their job. There's nothing heroic in taking another human beings life and I'm sure, if you really asked, any soldier will be the first to tell you that.

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    I know a few little weasel *insert expletive here* who think it's their god given right to go and kill "Ragheads".

    But most are as Shades says.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staz View Post
    I know a few little weasel *insert expletive here* who think it's their god given right to go and kill "Ragheads".
    Luckily little scrotes like these tend not to last too long in the forces/go very far...
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    Agreed. The gobsh**es get filled in and put inthe mess as servants! Or the stores before they are brown lettered(politely told to bugger off!)Reference your last Staz, for every BDO/ATO etc there are probably 200 infantrymen. So of course the percentages are going to be higher. On OP Herrick 3 and 6 I didnt hear of any BDO/ATO's getting slotted/blown up. I did hear of many infanteers some of them very close to me getting slotted though. In Iraq I would agree with you the stats were a lot higher coz of the IED threat. Afghan is going/has gone in that direction now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixv6quattro View Post
    Agreed. The gobsh**es get filled in and put inthe mess as servants! Or the stores before they are brown lettered(politely told to bugger off!)Reference your last Staz, for every BDO/ATO etc there are probably 200 infantrymen. So of course the percentages are going to be higher. On OP Herrick 3 and 6 I didnt hear of any BDO/ATO's getting slotted/blown up. I did hear of many infanteers some of them very close to me getting slotted though. In Iraq I would agree with you the stats were a lot higher coz of the IED threat. Afghan is going/has gone in that direction now.
    But my point stands. There may be FAAAAAR more front line troops that are injured/killed but that doesn't make it the most dangerous job. Well at least it didn't when I last heard the stats.
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixv6quattro View Post
    No soldier I have ever met (including myself) considers himself a hero. Its an overused word that gets criss crossed and confused with an act of valour above and beyond the call of duty(Military definition of a hero). However, just joining the infantry with the current conflict burning away is a BRAVE act. Any soldier who has been permanently disabled by the enemy, physically or mentally, as far as I'm concerned is a HERO, because believe it or not, losing limbs or being head fu**ed was not in the small print on the contract they signed when they joined. Personal sacrifice for a cause for the greater good of a completely selfless nature is a heroic act, whether the act was intentional or not. You can't even begin to humour a comparison of a sewage worker and a soldier. I would much rather have freedom of speech and the safety of not being blown to pieces in Oxford street while shopping with the family as opposed to having clean bloody water! A sewage worker does his job. A soldier IS his job. You eat, sleep, live, the army when your serving. And no soldier I know has ever wanted anyone or anything to say thankyou or well done. Every one of them knew what they were getting into, and because they were already aware of the risks the potential job entailed, they are a lot braver than the average sewage worker or plasterer. Only certain kinds of people join. Nd they already tend to be more ballsey than a lot of other people. Thats why they join, because its already in them! They just want to get on it with it. And BE their job.
    I think you missed the point of my post. It wasn't a direct and literal comparison. Feel free to substitute "sewage worker" with "policeman", "fireman" or whatever you feel like really.
    I never brought the bravery of a soldier into question. I sure as hell wouldn't be able to do what they do, and I hope I never have to make the choice between clean water and basic human rights (slight oxymoron perhaps...).

    My point was that anyone who goes above and beyond can quite rightly be classed as a hero. Going back into the aftermath of a roadside bomb to pull someone from the wreckage whilst under fire - Hero.
    An infantryman who goes out on patrol does his rounds and returns to camp - Brave (as sure as eggs is eggs) but not a hero.

    This is of course, as others have pointed out, just my opinion, and I don't expect everyone to share it.
    Cheap and Reliable is not Fast. Cheap and Fast is not Reliable. Fast and Reliable is not Cheap!

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    martyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    Well, that is your perogative. However, I'd like to be there when you try to convince a soldier he (or she) is a hero simply for doing their chosen job.

    You do also realise you are glorifying an occupation who's main role is esentially that of trained killers? Yes, the modern military may serve several roles (peacekeeping, humanitarian, etc) but when the sh*t hits the fan and it comes down to the choice of "you or them" they will choose "them" without a moments hesitation. I think you'll find that is why no soldier will accept they are a hero for doing their job. There's nothing heroic in taking another human beings life and I'm sure, if you really asked, any soldier will be the first to tell you that.
    i dont imagine there will ever be a time in my life where i will have to convince a soldier that he or she is a hero, and as i said previously, its my opinion, not necessarily shared by everyone.

    and as for 'glorifying an occupation who's main role is esentially that of trained killers' i have to disagree fairly strongly with you on that one!
    as an ex-squaddie myself i feel the need to tell you, that you are full of sh*t!
    Just taken delivery of my Glacier White S-Line Sportback

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    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy View Post
    as an ex-squaddie myself

    (It's just a guess!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post

    (It's just a guess!)
    aye, your narrow minded outlook on life. certainly is!
    Just taken delivery of my Glacier White S-Line Sportback

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    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy View Post
    aye, your narrow minded outlook on life. certainly is!
    Narrow minded outlook on life? What are you waffling on about? I've been called many, many things but narrow minded most certainly isn't one of them. In fact I'm sooooo narrow minded I'm going to let the "full of sh*t" comment slide, however, I wasn't going to mention this before but speaking of narrow minded...

    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy
    in my opinion all members of the armed forces who have served or are serving in that god forsaken [emphasis added] country, are heroes!
    I'm sure the locals (do you prefer locals or "rag-heads"?) would beg to differ about that. So, its a "god-forsaken" country and anyone, just by virtue of being out there, is not in fact a trained killer but a hero... and I'm narrow minded huh? Riiiight!

    Don't get me wrong I value the lives of all our brave men and women out there and hope they get back to their friends, family and loved ones in one piece but you are seriously devaluing the meaning of hero for the people that really do deserve it. Perhaps, just for you, we she should come up with a new status just for people that now deserve a title above "hero"? How about "Superhero"? Ah crap! Superman, Batman, Spiderman et all already have that!!

    Are you sure you're an ex-squaddie? Any squaddie worth his salt, that I know at least, would understand the significance of "crap hat" and would understand it's just a friendly yank on the chain!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    Are you sure you're an ex-squaddie? Any squaddie worth his salt, that I know at least, would understand the significance of "crap hat" and would understand it's just a friendly yank on the chain!
    An ex-squaddie that by his own definition, must consider himself to be a hero. I'm sorry, but even those that quite obviously are heros, rarely like to have the term used about them.

    (BTW, if you're struggling, if the hat isn't red or green it's crap)
    Ex 8L S3 driver

    also A3, 320, Golf, Clio, Astra, Focus, Mondeo, Laguna, Escort, Calibra, 220, others and now back to a Focus...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    Are you sure you're an ex-squaddie? Any squaddie worth his salt, that I know at least, would understand the significance of "crap hat" and would understand it's just a friendly yank on the chain!
    Further to that I think a comment from pheonixv6quattro is fairly appropriate -

    No soldier I have ever met (including myself) considers himself a hero
    Yet Martyboy, you refer to all serving soldiers as "heros" (your choice).

    Well, I'm sure you can see my point...
    Cheap and Reliable is not Fast. Cheap and Fast is not Reliable. Fast and Reliable is not Cheap!

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    martyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    I've been called many, many things but narrow minded most certainly isn't one of them.
    CHILL WINSTON!!!

    oh yes im certain you have been called many MANY things in the past, especially whilst standing up there on your soap-box spouting your tunnel vision views!





    and as for coming up with a new title with regards to being of the status above hero, why dont we just use the term mrs 'shades' because boy o' boy if anyone deserves a medal???

    Last edited by martyboy; 8th October 2009 at 22:51. Reason: calm down, calm down!!!
    Just taken delivery of my Glacier White S-Line Sportback

 

 
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