A Brave Soldier.
A short story of a young man growing up in one of the roughest parts of England, who was mischievous and cheeky but his heart was in the right place and he would do anything for anybody. He loved life and enjoyed playing with his mates in Buttershaw, Bradford. He grew up streetwise and would on occasion get into fights but he never brought trouble home to his mum and dad.
I remember on one occasion he was in the reck with his mates and one of them had a motor bike and he just had to have a go on it, a girl came knocking on our door screaming,
"Your Muffler has come off a motor bike straight into a wall."
"Where is he?" I asked.
"He's in the reck." shouts the girl.
I told our mum what had happened and rushed down to the reck to see if he was okay. When I got there he was sat on the floor laid against a wall smiling, with a gaping hole in his forehead bleeding like a stut pig.
"Muffler what have you done?" I asked.
"I came off a motor bike into that wall." He replied with a smile on his boat race.
"Why didn't you have an helmet on ?" I asked abruptly.
"Helmets are for sissies." he replied still smiling.
"Has anybody phoned for an ambulance?" I asked.
"Yes, that man over there has phoned for one."
I looked closer at the wound and started to smile back at him and said sarcastically,
"You will live young un, a couple of stitches will put you right."
The ambulance came and away he went to hospital. I sent a message to mum that he will be okay and went with him.
On another occasion he came to me proud as punch with a black eye and bruises, I said to him,
"What has happened to you?"
"Well this lad has been bothering me and we have had a few fights in the past but today I beat him."
"Where does he live?" I asked.
"Down the road, [then he paused] and said proudly, but he's a lot older than me and I wupped him."
He was genuinely proud of the fact he had beat this guy in a genuine street fight and he was only 14 and the guy was 19.
His boyhood dream was to join the army and when he left school immediately signed up and joined the Royal Dragoon Guards. His older brother was already in the army and so were some of his cousins so he was not alone, not that it would have bothered him if he was. He enjoyed life in the army and was often in minor skirmishes and odd bit of trouble which saw him visit the jailhouse on occasion, but his career was on track and he soon ended up in the boxing ring doing what he was used to doing and this time it was under strict boxing rules and controls. He managed to get to the regimental semi finals of the light welterweight class and this in itself was an achievement. The fight itself was watched by a lot of army personnel and even his elder brother was there to see him in the ring. Muffler was one of those fighters that just would not throw the towel in and he ended up getting a good thrashing off the other opponent, but still he would not give in. His elder brother said and I quote,
"I was beginning to feel sorry for Muffler because he would keep on getting up when he got knocked down and I was urging him to stay on the canvas but he would keep on getting up."
Eventually the fight was stopped and Muffler got a standing ovation for his sheer guts and determination and was even awarded a trophy for coming second in a match, this was unusual in the army because normally no one gets awarded for coming second, but because of his sheer guts and determination he got the award. The trophy is underneath.
When the Gulf war started in 1993 his regiment was not going so he volunteered to go with the Scottish dragoon guards and away he went, it was not long before he was on the border of Iraq in a scorpion tank on recce duties running up and down the border keeping an eye out for the enemy. He and the soldiers he was with stopped and parked up in between two sand dunes and were having a cup of tea and biscuits when he stood up to go for a piss and at the same time someone had restarted one of the tanks engines and a submachine gun that was on the tank fell off and hit the ground. Muffler at this time was halfway up a small dune, when the machine gun hit the ground it somehow loaded itself and fired one round straight into Muffler's lower leg and went straight through. Muffler fell to the floor not really knowing what had happened and his mates ran up the dune to help him and all of them panicked when they saw the gaping wound in his leg. Muffler said and I quote,
"They were trying to get morphine into my leg and were all fingers and thumbs, one of them ended up injecting himself in the thumb another broke the needle and when eventually someone got the morphine in, the pain of the stuff going in was ten times worse than the bullet going through my leg."
Anyway it was the end of the war for Muffler. He was quickly medivacked back to a field hospital in the desert. When I first heard about the incident I was at work. When someone tells you your brother has been shot and that's all the information you get it is extremely worrying and frustrating. For several days none of our family knew what had happened or what extent the injury was.
Eventually he was sent home and ended up in hospital in England and me and John went to visit him all the way down in deepest Dorset and stayed overnight at the expense of the M.O.D. Tracy his younger wiser sister picked him up cuddled him and brought him home to Bradford.
A while later after he recovered from the injury he was sent back to his regiment in Germany and due to Government cutbacks was made redundant from the army and ended up on the dole.
He managed to get a job but it was not paying too well and eventually he was back on the dole. He managed to get a job at the same place where I worked and I was hopeful it would turn out okay.
The job was under some sort of Government imitative where you work for 6 months for nothing [you still get your dole money] and then you get 6 months at a lower rate than the people who worked there. After 12 months you were guaranteed a job if you were suitable and keen enough. Anyway he did his 12 months and I was hopeful and confident that he would be taken on full time. But unfortunately the people in charge of Inhuman resources at this particular company did not renew his contract and one of the managers told an existing employee that he would not get a job due to the fact he was from Buttershaw and he did not tell them he smoked when he filled his application form in.
WHY the foook did they not tell him that at the beginning of the 12 months. WHY the foook did they not tell him at an earlier stage in proceedings. WHY the foook did they want to torment one of our most valued assets - i.e. [People who are willing to join our armed forces and go to war to protect us from the Enemy]
Well I will tell you why myself.
1. Some of the Managers of trading company's are not really interested in their own Company's wellbeing.
2. Human resources of some of these Company's do not investigate the applicants in a fair manner.
3. The Company in question was on a good thing and this soldier [who was willing to die fighting for his country] was in fact cheap labour for them to Exploit.
4. Some of the Company's Human resources departments should be renamed to Inhuman Resources Headquarters.
5. Some Managers who work at these firms, are in fact afraid of the English soldiers experience and intelligence and superior intellect and that is why they make daft fooking excuses when it comes to not employing them.
We as a nation do not deserve to be protected by these brave men and women of the armed forces and indeed of the civil forces - [police, fire, ambulance, etc] for we do not give them enough praise and credit for what they actually do.