Veterans to receive Priority Boarding & "thank you for your service"

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ddd

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I'm also not against an initiative just because its 'American' - I think pro active recognition of those who have served their country - especially those who have come off the worse for it - is admirable. Just got to find the right balance.

There's other ways to serve your country though. How many construction workers are killed or maimed on the work site? How many paramedics suffer from PTSD as a result of what they see on a daily basis? What's the suicide rate amongst healthcare workers? I would argue that all of these professions give more to the country than serving in the ADF in 2018.

I absolutely think we should be helping people who have served in the form of healthcare, counselling and support groups to help the transition back to civillian life, but I don't see why they deserve any special recognition beyond what they already get in the form of ANZAC day and Remembrance day.
 

Pushka

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There's other ways to serve your country though. How many construction workers are killed or maimed on the work site? How many paramedics suffer from PTSD as a result of what they see on a daily basis? What's the suicide rate amongst healthcare workers? I would argue that all of these professions give more to the country than serving in the ADF in 2018.

I absolutely think we should be helping people who have served in the form of healthcare, counselling and support groups to help the transition back to civillian life, but I don't see why they deserve any special recognition beyond what they already get in the form of ANZAC day and Remembrance day.
The difference is that the Armed Forces do their duty knowing that it is very possible they will be killed or permanently harmed. In all the other work areas, that isn’t at the forefront of their minds, although it can happen in any employment obviously but putting oneself at harm isn’t the raison d’être of their work.
 
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ddd

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The difference is that the Armed Forces do their duty knowing that it is very possible they will be killed or permanently harmed. In all the other work areas, that isn’t at the forefront of their minds, although it can happen in any employment obviously but putting oneself at harm isn’t the raison d’être of their work.

So? It would be very different if our vets were conscripted, but these people have willingly signed up knowing the risks. Also, putting oneself at harm (i.e. time spent in combat) is an absolutely minimal part of serving in the ADF in 2018.
 

Pushka

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So? It would be very different if our vets were conscripted, but these people have willingly signed up knowing the risks. Also, putting oneself at harm (i.e. time spent in combat) is an absolutely minimal part of serving in the ADF in 2018.
Ah yeah. That’s my point. They willingly put their lives at risk to protect our National Security.
 

turtlemichael

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My OH served with honour in Vietnam. He is more than pleased to march with his colleagues on Anzac Day and remember those who are no longer here. He is a very active anti-war campaigner. He sees this suggestion as rampart political posturing and opportunism and will have no part of it.
 

Blinky

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My OH served with honour in Vietnam. He is more than pleased to march with his colleagues on Anzac Day and remember those who are no longer here. He is a very active anti-war campaigner. He sees this suggestion as rampart political posturing and opportunism and will have no part of it.
Good for your OH. Posturing is the right word.
 

pauly7

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Veterans to get priority on Virgin flights

As the son and grandson of veterans, I hate this idea. Maybe the PB is ok, but some sort of announcement on-board would be just way over the top and smacks of that American-ness that I find a bit sickly. Of course I do respect those who serve, but I don't need this shoved down my throat.

I remember when every time VA arrived somewhere they acknowledged the original occupant tribe of the land you were arriving in. That didn’t last very long and was clearly token marketing (unfortunately).

This also feels token, a foreign owned airline tick boxing a ‘community relations’ marketing plan tactic. Give the vets a nice big whopping discount if you are serious VA....
 

turtlemichael

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Slightly off topic but one of the English language's greatest poets, and probably the greatest war (or anti-war) poet in any language, Wilfred Owen died 100 years ago today in the last week of WW1. I remember being affected by his poetry at school.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
 

theblank

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quite happy to see VA making this gesture for veterens, and I hope many others do something as well.
 

SeatBackForward

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The difference is that the Armed Forces do their duty knowing that it is very possible they will be killed or permanently harmed. In all the othe 90thr work areas, that isn’t at the forefront of their minds, although it can happen in any employment obviously but putting oneself at harm isn’t the raison d’être of their work.

I thought the idea was to not be killed?
 
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SeatBackForward

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A Qantas spokesman said the airline had the utmost respect for current and former defence force personnel.


“We’re conscious that we carry a lot of exceptional people every day, including veterans, police, paramedics, nurses, firefighters and others, and so we find it difficult to single out a particular group as part of the boarding process," the spokesman said.

Qantas under pressure to salute veterans on flights

Ah ha!

So WP's are beyond exceptional, and Qantas recognises this by failing miserably at prioritising anybody!
 

JohnM

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It’s sad that recognising veterans is seen as a “cringeworthy American trait”.

With respect, I think that you have conflated two fundamentally unrelated issues.

As the son and grandson of WWII and WWI servicemen, and as someone of the Vietnam war era who (thankfully) was not conscripted, I have the utmost respect and admiration for people who serve, and who have served, in the military. Apart from those killed in active service, I know first-hand the damage done to schoolmates, uni mates and work colleagues (and the impact on their families) of active service in Vietnam - often surfacing many years afterwards. It is not pretty.

I respect and admire their contribution - and I wish that I could offer more than sympathy. (I suppress my anger about why we were ever in Vietnam).

However, I stand by my assessment of this action by VA, and its push onto QF, as fundamentally insincere virtue-signalling modelled on shallow American-style sit-com assuaging of guilt and grief.

It is, in consequence, cringe-worthy because it is a hollow, unthinking copy-cat of American behaviour that is fundamentally not the Australian way IMHO. We show our respect quietly and with sincerity - not, dare I say, as an egregious part of marketing...

But, if I may be flippant after seriousness, and in line with what I said upthread, what is the point of this proposal with QF when they can't get their promised priority boarding right for ANYONE - let alone our veterans and servicepeople? With their usual work-experience kid approach, they will make an embarrassing and humiliating shambles of it.

It may be worth noting that the percentage of the Australian population currently in the military is half of what it is currently in the US. Figures for veterans are harder to come by (as well as define). But what it points to is that there is a greater chance of encountering serving and former military personnel while travelling in the US - not to mention that from my experience there seem to be far more serving US military personnel who travel in uniform than Australian military personnel.
 

kermatu

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It’s sad that recognising veterans is seen as a “cringeworthy American trait”.
I don't think this is what the majority of posters here are saying. More that there are better ways - more in keeping with the way we tend to do things as Australians - to genuinely recognise service. And the fact that there are many, many others who serve the nation with equal if not greater value and / or risk.
 

browski

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Before all flights, let it be announced which Govt MPs are on the flight and ask the other passengers to thank them for their service.
 
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Sojourner

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It’s sad that recognising veterans is seen as a “cringeworthy American trait”.

Why is it not cringeworthy?

If there was a call to give veterans priority boarding and thanks over the PA every time they boarded a train, a bus, a tram, a ferry would you call that cringeworthy? What about giving veterans priority to skip the queues for concerts and sporting events, surely given they've put their life on the line for our country they deserve to get first dibs at the latest tay tay concert right if they wanted to right?

The American's don't do all that but they are probably halfway there at least in their attitudes.

I share the sentiments of this veteran:

"The next, and bigger problem is the problem of putting defence personnel on an impossibly tall pedestal while ignoring those who provide service to the community more continually, and are exposed to more trauma on a much more regular basis than the average Australian Defence Force member.

What about police and emergency services who have to attend car crashes, or fish bodies out of rivers? Or paramedics who attend countless overdoses, suicide attempts and related traumatic events? Or staff in emergency departments in hospitals who have to make life-saving decisions every day?

Add in aged care and disability workers, or special-needs teachers who have to plug away anonymously every day, and the idea of a community thanking military or ex-military people for their service leaves me very uneasy."

"I have a Department of Veteran's Affairs to look after me and, if necessary, my family because of my service, a national public holiday that commemorates mine and others' service, along with Armistice Day where we can wear a poppy to commemorate the war dead.

There are advocacy groups such as the RSL, Legacy and others to lobby governments for service-related causes, the military gets a separate allocation of medals and awards in the Australia Day and Queen's Birthday honours' lists, and the Invictus Games has been created to further raise awareness of the cost of military service.

All of these are worthwhile groups and activities. But they point to the fact that regardless of what people may think or the media might portray, the military and ex-military communities are pretty well catered for on the whole."
 

SheikYerbouti

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This sh!ts me to tears. Did Virgin ask any actual vets? Noone I know would think this was a good idea, mind you I've been out of the services for a while now, maybe the new "me" generation wants all the accolades?

Mind you I fly a LOT and I've never told Virgin my veteran status, its nothing to do with my flights so they don't need to know. So when no vets tell them that they're vets, this joke will fall over.

You know, all that most vets need to feel appreciated is a handshake or a beer on ANZAC day when they ARE out and about and you can recognise them. The rest of the time, most vets just want to be helped if they need it, and left to live their lives.

Personally, I'd be happy if PB was *offered* to holders of certain types of Veteran's cards and anyone in uniform. ...I think one of the things they have in large US airports is some sort of 'lounge' for those flying in uniform?

In Australia we're not allowed to fly in uniform, unless on official duties with large groups. Solo travellers are explicitly banned. Fear of terrorists, etc. Well this was the case 5 years ago. Has it changed?

ignoring those who provide service to the community more continually, and are exposed to more trauma on a much more regular basis than the average Australian Defence Force member.

This is a significant point. An army trucky can go and drive around the Ghan for a few months, then get a lifetime of recognition for his "heroism" but what do we give the firefighters and the like who risk their lives every single day to protect yours? Nothing (not even a high salary), because our culture isn't one where we claim admiration for ourselves. We like to do our jobs well and in exchange be looked after if we need it. But the government doesn't want to pay for proper PTSD help for veterans and ex-emergency services people, so they get Virgin on board for these empty gestures instead.

This is from today's paper:
He traced his mental health problems back to a siege in Hampton in August 2002, less than a year after he joined the elite taskforce often referred by other police as the "Sons of God".
Waiting for instructions, he watched as a man killed his 10-week-old daughter by smashing her against a wall.


These are the people who Virgin, the government, and regular people need to recognise, thank, and help. And it needs to be done in the way the actual veterans want.

Screw Scott Morrison, screw News Corp, and I'm close to saying screw Virgin.
 

drron

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So why screw Scott Morrison and News Corp.They have nothing to do with this subject.It is a VA decision.
The Government announced other help for Veterans including employment help.Veterans do find it hard to get back into the workforce even now.I see the problems that causes frequently.
I agree most veterans will have nothing to do with this idea but some will.Has nobody ever see a motorcyclist with their Vietnam Veteran jacket?
 

justinbrett

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In Australia we're not allowed to fly in uniform, unless on official duties with large groups. Solo travellers are explicitly banned. Fear of terrorists, etc. Well this was the case 5 years ago. Has it changed?

This is incorrect - just go to the Qantas Club in Canberra (especially on a Friday afternoon) and there’ll be a cast of thousands in uniform.

I know the Army banned (or heavily suggested against) wearing uniform while travelling to work but this was not replicated by the other two service (go to Kings Cross station in Sydney and see the flood of Navy personnel in uniform). So perhaps Army has banned uniform on flights also but it’s definitely not ADF wide, nor has it ever been.
 
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