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War Veterans Discard Medals in Rejection of Militarism and War

On Friday 10 July 2015, three members of Veterans For Peace UK met in Trafalgar Square, London and walked down Whitehall towards the residence of the Prime Minister. Once at Downing Street the veterans lined up, faced the police barricades and made the following statements.

“We are members of Veterans For Peace UK, an ex-services organisation of men and women who have served this country in every conflict since the second world war. We exist in the hope of convincing you that war is not the solution to the problems of the 21st century. We have come here today to hand back things, given to us as soldiers, that we no longer require or want.” Said Ben Griffin.

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“This is my Oath of Allegiance, it is something I had to recite in order to get the job as a soldier. At 15 years old I had little understanding of its true meaning. Now I fully understand the words, they have no meaning at all.” Said John Boulton who then discarded his Oath of Allegiance.

“This is my Oath of Allegiance, this was a contract between the Monarchy, the British Government and a fifteen year old child. I am no longer loyal to the Government or the Monarchy.” Said Kieran Devlin who then discarded his Oath of Allegiance.

“This is my Oath of Allegiance, I made this oath when I was 19 years old. It required me to obey orders without question. I am no longer bound by this contract.” Said Ben Griffin who then discarded his Oath of Allegiance.IMG_7913

“This is my Army hat, it defined me as a soldier and a cog in the military machine. I reject militarism” Said John Boulton who then discarded his beret.

“This is my Army hat, this was given to me as a sixteen year old boy. I reject militarism, I reject war. And it means nothing to me.” Said Kieran Devlin who then discarded his beret.

“I used to wear this hat as a soldier, it used to have great significance to me. I no longer want to keep hold of this symbol of militarism”. Said Ben Griffin who then discarded his beret.

“These are the medals given to me for the sick dichotomy of keeping the peace and waging war. They are trinkets, pseudo payments. But really all they represent is the self interest of those in there, who hold power.” Said John Boulton who then discarded his medals.

“These are my medals, these were given to me were given to me as a reward for invading other peoples countries and murdering their civilians. I’m now handing them back” Said Kieran Devlin who then discarded his medals.

“I was given these medals for service on operations with the British Army. This particular medal here, was given to me for my part in the occupation of Iraq. Whilst I was over there, I attacked civilians in their homes and took away their men, off to be tortured in prison. I no longer want these despicable things.” Said Ben Griffin who then discarded his medals.

The three veterans then walked away from Downing Street leaving the oaths, berets and medals lying scattered on the floor.

John Boulton served in the Armoured Corps. He deployed on operations to Cyprus and Afghanistan. He is now a member of Veterans For Peace UK.

Kieran Devlin served in the Royal Engineers. He deployed on operations to the Gulf War and N Ireland. He is now a member of Veterans For Peace UK.

Ben Griffin served in the Parachute Regiment and the SAS. He deployed on operations to N Ireland, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq. He is now a member of Veterans For Peace UK.

 

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  • David Lear 11/07/2015, 14:20

    I think the gestures were certainly expressions that ought not be lost on the prime minister, I do hope a video record of these noble actions was made – I can only say how much I was disappointed for not being there myself and filming it, but as it stands this moment was a personal statement – very sorry you boys were badly duped but share a great relief with many that need to hear the real truth.

    Thankyou

    • Admin 11/07/2015, 14:22

      Video will be out soon.

  • Fiona Gallagher 11/07/2015, 14:40

    In my opinion this is the highest act of bravery. I can only say I am proud to know you all, I have such respect and regard for you as people and also as a collective, in the work you do, the beliefs you hold true and the gracious and dignified way you conduct yourselves. I agree with David, Cameron must take heed. He is in a position only by the behest of the people he is supposed to serve and do in their best interests. And yes we all know that is not the general way things go, but I do believe that this amazing gesture will not go unnoticed. John, Ben, Kieran, good on you, absolutely full of respect for you fellas.

    • Kieran 11/07/2015, 21:16

      Such kind words from a truly inspirational person. Thank you Fiona.

  • radfax 11/07/2015, 14:45

    The action by these and others is a shining example of truth honour and integrity, one we must all try to emulate in our own way
    The people of the country, along with servicemen and women from the armed forces must demand that the laws of war are enforced, along with those of International and domestic laws.
    There is now concrete evidence that the present government and previous governments have committed war crimes, crimes against peace, crimes against Humanity and genocide.
    They must ALL be brought to book and face the full weight of the law/s that have been put in place for these situations and these types of leaders, though one could scarcely call these tyrants leaders.
    Murder is always a crime.
    The murder of children is the most heinous of crimes.
    Please have a look at the following link and help us to raise not only public awareness to the ongoing war crimes and crimes against peace, but also to pass on and educate those law enforcement officers and officials that reply to such charges by saying the they are “only following orders”.
    Police and all law enforcement officials need to understand precisely what the law says about such statements and claims made by themselves in regard to orders they are following by those in power.

    http://peoplesassemblyofjustice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-main-message.html

    for further reading and video interviews related directly to the laws of war and war crimes see
    http://peoplesassemblyofjustice.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Roy Cameron 13/07/2015, 09:21

      ”There is now concrete evidence that the present government and previous governments have committed war crimes, crimes against peace, crimes against Humanity and genocide.”….WRONG…This is just the opinion of 3 men without any concrete evidence.

  • Paul Burgess 11/07/2015, 14:48

    Fantastic gestures. Unfortunately I don’t think Camoron will give a monkeys. Will share this on FB and look forward to seeing the video. Will we be notified via the newsletter? I haven’t heard of the other guys but have seen a few of Ben’s speeches etc on YouTube. Same with Jon Turner and Mike Prysner in the US. Good men who have realised that war is not the answer.

    Many thanks.

  • Simone roach 11/07/2015, 15:28

    I truly hope your organisation grows, and the legacy you are creating for peaceful endeavour is strengthened.

  • Kathy Timberley 11/07/2015, 17:42

    Please accept mine and my family’s thanks for your brave statements and acts. It gives me some hope for the future to realise that there are people such as yourselves who can at last question the motives of governments. Thank You All.

  • Philip Reiss 11/07/2015, 18:28

    Most courageous acts in this world don’t get recognized. The military demands that bravery always get defined within the context of battle. Thoughtful people will realize these three veterans initiated a courageous act not defined within the context of battle but within the context of their conscience for the benefit of all humanity.

  • Bart Bolger 11/07/2015, 18:54

    Some people criticize these small acts of resistance. But we know they always touch someone, sometimes many. And from there, the movement grows and is strengthened.
    Great job, guys! You make us proud.

  • Mike Hawthorne 11/07/2015, 19:27

    These men have stood up for their own humanity and humanity in general, after what must have been a long and difficult journey. God bless them. I hope it makes others begin to think seriously about how, and for whose benefit, the armed forces are being used, in spite of the barrage of shrill militarist propaganda that we are subjected to in this country. It’s good to know these men exist at all.

  • Vic Dale 11/07/2015, 19:51

    I tried to sell mine for mere melt down value, in order to donate to the rebellion which overthrew the bloody dictator Suharto, of Indonesia. My anger was immense when I discovered how we in the armed forces of the 1960s had been used to create and prop up corrupt, pro-British regimes simply in order to aid British corporations, who could then help themselves to those nations wealth. There are no just wars, everything has a price tag and at the root of it all you’ll find someone making money whilst young men and women lay down their lives and limbs for their country. I do not look back on my years in the RN with any pride at all, because it was all misspent, in the service of greed. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it at the time though and that has me truly perplexed. I carry a burden of guilt at having been an ignorant part of the British Supremacy machine, which has inflicted misery on countless millions of people who deserved better.

    Some would say we are spreading disaffection and doing a disservice to our country, but let us be clear, I am not a pacifist. If Britain were to be invaded tomorrow I would be among the first to re-enlist. It is probably that sentiment, which is at the forefront in the minds of many of those who have and who will serve in the armed forces. The reality is we were never serving our country. All we were doing was featherbedding private corporations, whose only concern was and is making money. Even while I was serving, I hated the idea of big business plundering small and under developed nations and suppressing the freedoms of their people. Little did I realise my own part in that particular operation. That knowledge came much later when it was to late to do anything about it. Of course had I known and tried to do anything, I would have been jailed for mutiny and spreading disaffection. Happily I avoided that and became active in the Labour anmd Trade union movement where I never missed an opportunity to spread the word about capitalism and it’s use of members of the armed forces .

    I am proud to have met up with you guys and gals. There is that something in our lives as ex-service personnel which we all share. We are a small minority now, but I would be happy to be a minority of one, if it means making a stand against militarism, British supremacy and the squandering of more young lives.

  • kenny williams 11/07/2015, 19:57

    Outstanding.
    On Rememberance Sunday 2013, after the “Ritual” I walked alone in front of hundreds of people and threw my medals at the war memorial. I shouted “Stop worshipping War, and instead celebrate Peace, these people are liars and criminals.”
    They all hung their heads in shame, I felt alone and isolated in my action against these scoundrels..

    I was in touch with Ben after that moment and he told me this:

    “I`m not alone, We in Veterans for Peace stand together in the resistance to militarism and you have our full support”.

    I joined VFP and have to say that every member I have met is a kind and compassionate person with one goal in mind… To resist militarism and War, Finally, I was not alone.

    I know Kieran from our visit to Northern Ireland on a “A different kind of Tour” and John and Ben from our gatherings at London each year.
    Your all brave souls, well done brothers your in my thoughts lots of love.

    Peace and Love

    Kenny Williams VFP UK

  • Michael Fitzgibbons 11/07/2015, 20:59

    You have my complete and utter respect and admiration.

  • Will Thomas 11/07/2015, 22:18

    From a VFP member in New Hampshire, all what I wanted to say has already been adroitly expressed by those good and decent people preceding me. Were that it would be possible soon that a majority of the world’s people would recognize that war is never the answer. Yes, militarism and its promotion by the state is one of the great evils of our times as is the super-patriotism called “nationalism.” So, we are today’s “peace-mongers’ who must resist and expose the “war-mongers” wherever they exist. However, make no mistake about it, my own “country,” USA, along with Israel and those members of NATO (the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization) are the greatest sponsors and promoters of terrorism in the world today. So, I applaud all of you in VFP UK and greatly admire you and respect you all for resisting militarism and for trying to counter the military recruiters and their bogus messages. Thank you, thank you, as we move forward together to celebrate peace and justice and advocate for an end to war.

  • diane Steels 11/07/2015, 23:04

    Namaste from another peaceful protector

  • Willy Bach 12/07/2015, 00:46

    Dear friends

    I have a collection of photos of this happening in the US. I am so pleased and proud to see it happen in Britain. As Michael said: “You have my complete and utter respect and admiration.” I wish I can one day see it happen in Australia.

    VFP UK rocks!

  • John Proffitt Chairman BAF Bureau 12/07/2015, 04:06

    Ben,John,Kieran,
    You have my respect for your courageous decision. Each and everyone of us who made an allegiance or oath when we joined the military had the best intentions to defend and uphold peace for peoples of the United Kingdom.

    Any recognised award made to you since that time is held on record of your service indefinitely. Any further recognition if found worthy could be made at a later time.

    Our veterans who turnout on Remembrance Day, are not there to glorify war, but simply to commemorate those who gave their lives with the intention of achieving peace at that time. “Lest We Forget’

    My sincere regards

  • Lilian Brzoska 12/07/2015, 09:28

    Dear John Boulton,
    The people of Cyprus & Afghanistan will be honoured that you are now a member of Veterans For Peace UK. It is so important that the young people taken in by war propaganda all wake up to Truth and then stand up with Honour for the peaceful, against the lies of the warmongers, militarist arms dealers and political death-mongers..

    Dear Kieran Devlin,
    The survivors of the illegal Gulf War and undeclared war in N Ireland will be greatly relieved you have seen the truth and are now a member of Veterans For Peace UK. You served to honour our oath and now Honour your Conscience. Thank you and well done. It is a difficult thing to see the error of ones past commitments and to acknowledge the wrongs one’s actions contributed towards. To turn around and publicly declare a change of heart against the might of the military power systems is courageous and long overdue for many soldiers.

    Dear Ben Griffin,
    The people of N Ireland, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq will be delighted you are now a member of Veterans For Peace UK. Someone with your skills has been in clear and present danger so often on behalf of the powers that be, seeing how corrupt they are must have come as a very great shock to your system. I am so glad you have survived the shock to stand up and be counted with those of us who have always know war is no solution and the International Banks are paying for both sides in any war to be armed.

    I wish you all many hugs to enjoy.
    Thanks so much.
    Lilian

  • David Marchesi 12/07/2015, 09:45

    The establishment ignored the vast demonstration against attacking Iraq and is not going to take any notice of the brave action of the three VFP members.From the time of the Boer War, if not before, the establishment has very precisely promoted a cheap and tacky “patriotism” which appeals to the narcissism (aren’t we wonderful?) of so many. Now that we have a professional army (again) the days when men in uniform for the duration were fully aware of their ordinariness and their similarity to the “others”(Germans, Russians etc) are disappearing. The media aggravates this silly idea that putting on a uniform makes men heroes; militarism encourages the worst of atrocities by “us” and demonises “the other”.It is quite appalling that so few of the general public even want to listen to the VFP accounts, or get the opportunity to do so. Most shocking of all is the way that “moral leaders” continue to back the establishment’s parody of patriotism , not, of course, just in this country. “My country right or wrong” is not just wicked but justifies murder. Usually or always for the sake of Money. Aren’t we wonderful?

  • Terence Alexander Griffin 12/07/2015, 09:53

    So very proud of my Son and those in V4P UK. ..It would be awesome if Chilcot had half their guts and integrity and published his report into the illegal war in Iraq…TAG 🙂

    • Garry Harriman 12/07/2015, 21:40

      Ey up, Mr G!

      Nice to see your input on here again! Hope you are well! The Chilliot Inquiry is a bit like the Warren Commission or the 9/11 report, don`t you think….accept it still hasn`t been published yet!

      I know how proud you are of Ben, all he achieved and what he has gone on to achieve…….it`s a good job he abandoned his modeling career prior to joining the Army…..you`re right, he`d never have made it to the heights that I reached!

      Garry H, ex RAF
      Georgia, USA

  • stephen porter 12/07/2015, 10:01

    It was not your fault!

    You are all victims of the war machine, and as such you are not to blame.

    I know my words can never heal your wounds of mind and body, but I hope they can at least comfort you, and help share the heavy burden that you so surely do carry.

    I Stephen Porter forgive you, and I hope that you can find it within your souls to forgive yourselves.

    Love peace and solidarity to you brothers, and to all the victims of war.

    Namaste!!!

  • Maria gallastegui 12/07/2015, 12:26

    When I was a child growing up in the 70’s I use to visit many second hand shops which were very common in working class area. It was usual to furnish your home with 2nd hand goods. I was always fascinated by war medals which were also displayed in the window or on a tatty table outside. I was intrigued by the silent history of the medals.

    As years went by I wondered why so many medals were for sale down Portobello Rd market etc.
    If these medals were so honorable and awarded for acts of bravery, how come so many were in 2nd hand shops being sold for a meager amount????

    It then dawned on me that the soldiers, sailors and airmen who had earned these medals did not hold them in high regard themselves. The medals were a reminder of – not a victory – but a failure of all nations to keep open dialogue and maintain peace. The medal is a ”pay off” by the state and the corporations who use government to validate their business interests.
    War is based on manipulation and deceit using common people to fight others for political power and financial interest of the people who send them to war.

    Sadly, the formula of propaganda, media distortion and hysteria does actually work. Time and time again the pattern repeats, and the drums beat and our young people, march off again to war…..

    When we say ”Never again’ we must mean it and stand united against war, full stop.
    Gentlemen, congratulations on this very powerful and symbolic act! Well done and thank you.

  • Allen L. Jasson 12/07/2015, 13:28

    This is an incredibly powerful statement.
    It’s something I admire and empathise with very strongly.
    It’s the sort of thing that can only be done once and so, not for the value of the objects, but because of the significance they give to the statement made, is extremely valuable.
    This of course, will be disregarded by the media ‘in whom we trust’ to deliver this message to others.
    The silence will be deafening.
    And so I will print it off and tape it to the wall in my work-place, something that has become increasingly difficult to do; I have lost jobs and contracts for my views – martyrdom by mockery. Nowadays I have children who will again bear the consequences of my ‘reckless need for self-attention and confrontationalism’; I will do it nevertheless.
    I will also send it to Grant Chapps-Sherbett (my local MP) with some other contemptuous expressions.

    It is not a ‘reckless need for self-attention and confrontationalism’ that has brought me into conflict with VFP, but rather, a concern for the need to be effective.
    The unbearable lightness of silence.
    Regards,
    Allen

  • Gus Hales 12/07/2015, 17:46

    Great act of defiance guys, well done.
    I am thinking of doing the same thing, but I am going back to source before I throw my stuff away. Two years ago I approached my boyhood Vicar Rev Sneath of Camp Hill parish and asked him for an un-baptism ceremony. http://www.ebbsfleet.org.uk/fullposts.php?id=89
    Stating you lied to me, you took me into your organisation when I couldn’t defend myself, you told me lies about invisible beings who knew what I was thinking 24/7, at Sunday school you prepared my mind for the military, you signed my attestation papers and told me to do my duty, you signed my passport application so that this could happen, now release me from your organisation. Unfortunately he was suffering early dementia and died shortly afterwards, I never got an answer from him, so if anyone knows a vicar who will un-baptise me then let me know.

    After that, I want to go back to my school, who told me that violence never solved anything, but insisted that military service was a noble act, as they brought in the Army recruiting team. I want to confront them and call them liars.

    Then and only then, when I have tackled the problem at source will I willingly throw my military junk back at those who condition young minds to serve their vile ambitions, because these cheap tokens are only the final outward manifestation of a process which started when I was just to young to understand.

    • Kieran 12/07/2015, 20:17

      Good for you Gus. We all have our own path to walk, there is no right or wrong way to do that. Respect Brother.

      • Gus Hales 12/07/2015, 21:05

        Cheers Kieran. Well done to you all for your recent events.

        There’s an old saying, “If you don’t want a tree to grow back you have to dig out the roots and not just lop off the branches”

        See you soon,
        Peace bro
        http://veteransforpeace.org.uk/2014/if-you/

  • P Crawford 12/07/2015, 17:48

    Good for you, guys. This is your one true act of bravery and courage. Total respect to all three of you.

  • Anthony McLoughlin 12/07/2015, 18:18

    I personally think all 3 of them are a disgrace to the fallen soldiers of the UK . You knew what you were getting into when you signed up . You took the Queens Shilling and enjoyed the protection it afforded you . Hang your heads in shame ! That is all .

    • Alix 12/07/2015, 19:17

      I think to call 3 men shameful who have managed to go through all they have and STILL want to make a difference is beyond stupid. Its a stepping stone that will lead to a proper education for younger people. There is no honesty with war that I’ve seen apart from VFP. There is a lot of glory from soldiers but you must be able to understand that these people target young men. They shape them into something unnatural and cold to do what they want. Its not honorable. Its manipulative.

      Whats a disgrace to fallen soldiers is making MORE fallen soldiers.

      There is more honor in the protection of the living and telling the truth than keeping on making young men die for a rich mans war

      If a young man was thinking about joining and then found out the facts from things like this or other VFP material and he decided not to then thats a life saved. Its a families life not ruined from the loss of a son. The list goes on.

      “Disgrace?”… What is disgraceful is people putting more value on the past than the present and future life.
      These men are changing things for the better.
      So you can either learn and respect it… or get out their way because what they’re doing is important.
      And it can’t be easy. So should all be proud of yourselves….
      No not you Anthony…. You should stop insulting brave people tut tut

      I hope more people get to witness acts like this because it can change peoples minds which saves lives…
      What could be more important that that?

      All the best keep going

    • Admin 12/07/2015, 19:34

      Anthony,

      What fallen soldiers are you talking about? Soldiers don’t fall, they are shot in the face, blown to pieces and burnt alive.

      What Queens Shilling are you on about? Are you living in the reign of George the Third?

      What protection are you talking about?

      If you want us to hang our heads in shame, come and try pushing them down.

      Ben Griffin

    • radfax 13/07/2015, 01:23

      Anthony McLoughlin you clearly have not grasped the reality of the situation, nor does it seem that have you any understanding of the ‘Laws of war’
      Maybe the following video and information will enlighten you somewhat

      https://youtu.be/zjMHf5hVVEg

      http://peoplesassemblyofjustice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-main-message.html

  • Dave Butler 12/07/2015, 18:31

    Just as long as you don’t forget the others who served before you and indeed with you who helped secure your right to exercise free speech and behave in this manner, those who are still proud to be called soldiers. I do wholeheartedly concur that no one should be allowed to enter “Boys Service” and the enlistment age should be raised to eighteen in order that no such accusations of gullibility can be made in future.
    Gentlemen, I thank you for your service.

    • Admin 12/07/2015, 19:33

      Dave,

      Soldiers don’t secure the right to free speech.

      If anything soldiers have been used over the centuries on these Isles to suppress free speech and crush dissent.

      Don’t thank us for our service. If you think so highly of military service, sign yourself up.

      Ben Griffin

  • Gus Hales 12/07/2015, 18:54

    Hi Anthony McLoughlin,

    Your post is somewhat confusing to me. We are told that the military is there to uphold democracy. But when three men who have served this so called democracy, take the democratic decision to democratically return the trinkets of democracy in a democratic manner, to the centre of that democracy. You declare it’s a disgrace, what’s a matter? do you not like democracy? Or could it be that this isn’t a democracy at all?

  • Lewis Lowthorpe 12/07/2015, 19:34

    I think all three of you should be ashamed.
    You join the Armed Forces to help protect and defend this country against all enemies (foreign, domestic and natural)
    The bomb and the bullet will always be the last resort used. Sometimes it is at the wheel of an ambulance or fire engine. Sometimes it is the filling of sandbags to plug sea defences. Sometimes it is to cover when government contractors fail to fulfill comitments.

    As you handed back your medals and berets, you should now also ring up pensions and refuse all pensions and then if anything happens do not come running back to the forces wanting help.

    Men and women have paid the ultimate price to give you the freedom to do this, you should be thanking them.

    • Admin 12/07/2015, 20:20

      The Oath of Allegiance

      I (your name), swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me.

      Nothing in there about defending the country.

      Ben Griffin

    • Kieran 12/07/2015, 20:46

      Enemies foreign and domestic??? Is this not the USA constitution? We are former British soldiers who have seen the futility of war and are prepared to speak out against it. The bomb and bullet are not as you suggest, the last resort of our Government, it is quite often part and parcel of its foreign political strategy. Presuming you do actually live in the UK, I am shocked you are not aware of this.

      The Adulation you heap on the Army is unwarranted, the army do not make the righteous decisions as to what evil they will fight, they just go where they are sent and kill everything in their way.

      There is no way to peace Lewis, peace is the way! Gandhi (I think)

    • radfax 13/07/2015, 01:51

      Know the facts first, then, when you do, speak out in protest, there is no other way to justice and peace.

      Murder is always a crime, the murder of children is the most heinous of crimes.

      Your Country is being run by war criminals https://youtu.be/zjMHf5hVVEg

      The Legality of War https://youtu.be/wu4ApKmoP4E?list=PLaUQIC_mEru1Oh6jJ3RZw4g4XrA__R0Th

      Calling on all who are of conscience to enforce the law.
      http://peoplesassemblyofjustice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-main-message.html

    • Garry Harriman 13/07/2015, 06:52

      If you are an American, I would say, based on my observations as a Brit living in the USA, that most Americans are very, very ill informed about the world. Indeed, in a nation where a large amount of the population believes in the existence of angels and get their news from CNN and Fox and other corporate media, this is not surprising.
      As for your reference to freedom, freedom of and for what, exactly? Freedom to have a low paid going nowhere job? Freedom to be bankrupt if you are injured or get ill because you can not pay your hospital bill? Freedom to be shot dead by a bigoted, poorly trained police officer because you happen to be black, Hispanic, homeless, mentally ill or challenge unwarranted police aggression? I think you need to reassess your ignorant ans limited analytical observational skills and really ask yourself how much freedom you really think you have and how much the ultra rich who own the USA have in comparison to you, me and the average `jo`. As for my well earned and very meager pension (420 GBP), you enlist in the military for 20 years and then come and demand that I loose it!

      Good day!

      Garry H
      Ex UK RAF
      Ga USA

    • Terence Alexander Griffin 14/07/2015, 22:54

      At trials of NAZI war criminals there were pleadings that they too took a oath of allegiance to their leader…that they followed orders…a similar oath taken by our military…sadly it will not be Blair who should be on trial…It is those who give the orders…The Head of State…The Queen…Chilcot must publish…and name those who gave the orders. ..TAG 🙂

  • Les Gibbons 12/07/2015, 20:57

    Like the strong statements Kieran, John and Ben of handing beck the oath of allegiance and beret.
    Well done you who did this first.

    On the age of consent, well actually I personally don’t think the age of 18 is high enough, people aren’t really adults till about 22/23 as you are still developing and forming as a person physically and of course the psychological development goes on longer.
    Wholeness
    Les

  • tracy 12/07/2015, 21:01

    why i fully understand the way they feel i am disgusted as what they have said
    and done is a kick in the teeth to every serving british soldier past and present
    who have risked their lives past and present and to every serving soldier who has
    already laid down their life for this country

    • Admin 12/07/2015, 21:17

      Tracy

      Are we not “British soldiers past” who have risked our lives?

      Name one soldier who has “laid down their life for this country”.

      You make it sound so graceful.

      Yours is the rhetoric of the propaganda merchant.

      Ben Griffin

    • John Boulton 12/07/2015, 21:53

      Tracey,

      We’re the disgusted ones! That’s why we got off our arses and spoke our minds.

      The great and good you supposedly think we serve; Pedophiles, arms traders (to nations who step on human rights), bankers (who often finance both sides), expenses fraudsters and ministers who fabricate evidence to go to war with a man – whom we sold chemical weapons, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah!

      You lot may think you’re worth a shilling, we think we’re all of us worth so much more! To our detractors; do your homework and think for yourselves. Tell the parents of the 179 killed in Iraq for an accepted lie that it’s ok, that it was worth it… I dare you!

      Tell it to Reg Keys! I double dare you!

      Seems that doesn’t bother you at all.

      Guess that makes us the real patriots!

    • Gus Hales 12/07/2015, 22:19

      I am a past soldier of 14 years service and I do not feel kicked in the teeth, so please you do not need to speak for me, I can think for myself.

    • radfax 13/07/2015, 01:49

      Murder is always a crime, the murder of children is the most heinous of crimes.

      Know the facts first, then, when you do, speak out in protest, there is no other way to justice.
      Your Country is being run by war criminals https://youtu.be/zjMHf5hVVEg

      The Legality of War https://youtu.be/wu4ApKmoP4E?list=PLaUQIC_mEru1Oh6jJ3RZw4g4XrA__R0Th

      Calling on all who are of conscience to enforce the law.
      http://peoplesassemblyofjustice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-main-message.html

    • Terence Alexander Griffin 15/07/2015, 07:58

      Please explain exactly how somebody sat in a bunker in Lincolnshire piloting a drone dropping bombs on innocents is somehow brave and courageous risking their life for Queen and Country. ..

  • Kieran 12/07/2015, 21:22

    What makes you think it is a kick in the teeth to all the soldiers you mention Tracy? The three lads involved know full well what soldiers have to go through, as they have done the same themselves and speak from experience.
    Do you really wish to see war being the norm in today’s society? Is this a world you want your children to live in?

  • Garry Harriman 12/07/2015, 21:46

    There are some very polarizing comments here, all valid in their own way. However, I think some of the dissenting comments and the people that published them are missing the point of these valiant actions. None of the 3 former soldiers are being overtly disrespectful to serving or former military personnel or all they have given in service to their countries. Indeed, Ben Griffin is a former SAS trooper, the pinnacle of professional soldiering, the best soldiers and SF unit in the world. How could he ever disrespect that. Further, to walk away form that achievement takes more courage than it requires to gain entry into the SAS, at least in my opinion.

    No, these fine people are rightly expressing their personal observations and feeling of conscience relating to the true immoral nature of war, more so today in modern times. The invasion and occupation of Iraq and then Afghanistan turned a lot of serving members` stomachs, including my own before I left the RAF after 20 years service in 2006. A lot of us were in contempt and hatred of the Bush Administration and the right wing neocons that stole the 2000 election and took the world to a much darker place based on lies and deception, more people than you could imagine were disgusted by our actions, and we all know what it all about, oil, gas, and the petro dollar and geopolitical hegemony!

    I love my country and our armed forces, but what we were involved in was quite simply WRONG!!! Respect to Ben Griffin and his troops!

  • Ant Heaford 13/07/2015, 00:03

    A courageous example to all, rejecting the glorification of our immoral and corrupt military actions around the world.

    My medals are going too – i want my legacy to be my peaceful actions, not a picture of Mrs. Windsor on a piece of metal celebrating war.

  • iain sparks 13/07/2015, 01:36

    My dad was shot down in 44 ‘ over germany and survived, all my siblings served and my mum. I discussed the way we were used and abused with my dad who was brave and honourable and patriotic.. we agreed that we were exploited and of no value to the ruling elite. It decimated my family. I decided I would not fight for our government again or allow my kids to either – but I would still fight for my country ie: our people. Our government, the corporate elite they serve and their history is shameful, vile and disgusting.
    I would have returned my medals in this way or discarded them.. but I wasn’t awarded any! hahaha!
    However I did purchase my early release.. so that is almost as good..
    I salute these blokes for their courage and honour in making this gesture.

    • Philip Reiss 13/07/2015, 16:40

      World War Ii was the last war that is somewhat justifiable. As a 78 year old American, (Proud member of VETERANS FOR PEACE) I remember how the politicians, especially the “hawks,” tried to justify the assault on Vietnam. The corporate media never pointed out to the American “sheeple” the V C didn’t have an air force or a navy and was, therefore, incapable of doing harm to Americans anywhere living on American soil. So Viet Nam’s epic struggle to deny outside forces determining their future was understandable to many, such as historian Howard Zinn, but not to those blinded by the American flag being waved before their eyes. Viet Nam’s struggle for self determination was really none of the rest of the world’s business, – same thing for circumstances in the Ukraine today.

  • Garry Harriman 13/07/2015, 03:43

    Tracy:

    I think and hope your comments were meant without real intention to insult anyone. I don`t know how old you are or what your life experiences are, but I think these guys have the right to express themselves in the manner they did as they were there. I was in the RAF for 20 years and I do not feel I have the right to express my opinions to these guys as I have not been to war like they have. We all respect and admire our Armed Forces Tracy and we love the UK. What we fight for today, however, is NOT for our nation but for the interests of our State in very diverging ways that bare no resemblance to what you will hear and see in the main stream media. The world can not function as we know it in the industrialized sense, without the resources we are so heavily DEPENDENT items such as OIL, GAS, and others. We fight to control such resources and geopolitical access to them, and for the protection of the global reserve currency that underpins global finance and we will support anyone, any regime, arm, train and protect regimes and do whatever it takes to protect such interests while the media spins it in absurd catchy and misleading headlines and justifications for action. Tracy, learn about the history of affairs and how the world works and make up your own mind.

    In the mean time, please give these guys some repsect for the courage they have shown both in and out of uniform!

    Garry H
    Ex RAF
    Ga, USA

  • SHAUN THOMPSON 13/07/2015, 07:26

    My name is Shaun, My dad died in 1959 when I was a small 3 year old child, the wartook my daddy form me, he was 33 years old and died because of the war, my daddy lies in a paupers grave in Hare hills cemetery, my mum had WAR WIDOWS PENSION!! AKA A Pittance for us all to live on, we lived in poverty, no carpets, never enough blankets for the 7 of us, hand me down clothes I wore. I never knew my dad, I never went for a walk with hime or held him in his later years as I do with my sons, I never did any thing and I only remember the gifts he needed after the war, the Oxygen at his bed side, seeing the smoke as I thought it was coming from his mask, my memories are of mum beating his chest, his cream coloured metal bed chocked up on the bottom legs to help him, Mum did not have a full pension because dad was too proud to ask the difference between Attributed and Contributed, Mum informed me later in my years that once they had there benefits stopped, because the DHSS believed dad was well enough to work, He died a month later, Oh how In hate the Bastards who took my daddy from me, and my family. Many years later again mum had our money stopped, I remember going to the DHSS office in Leeds with her, thy stopped the pittance we were given to live on because the news papers made a typo when mum wrote a letter about us and our suffering, the typo was

  • SHAUN THOMPSON 13/07/2015, 07:31

    Well after accidently some how pressing send before I completed my rant, I m now waiting for the mods to authorise it, then I can maybe finish it somehow.

  • David Brett 13/07/2015, 08:13

    I am Totally disappointed in your action. You all served and worked along some great people. Yet you have let them down.

    • Gus Hales 13/07/2015, 09:34

      Well done David Brett for visiting this site you are obviously awakening to something and starting to actually question what’s really going on. Just a bit further to go, slumber comes before wakefulness

  • eric 13/07/2015, 11:39

    these 3 honorable men have stated with there actions exactly what I put on a debate about the armed forces the other day and was verbally abused by quite a few .whilst I admire the armed forces of all 3 services I believe they have been misused and abused for the benefit of the rich and powerful

  • John Boulton 13/07/2015, 13:04

    Hey David. Let who down? Where on this website have we disparaged any of our former friends and colleagues? Why do you think it’s so noble to blindy follow the whims of corrupt politicians with one foot in the door of the arms industries. And what is all this nonsense about shillings? Todays war economy is driven by Sterling and dollars! Bri Gen Smedley Butler (Twice medal of honour winner) said ‘War is a racket!’ Who are you to question a senior marine of thirty years experiance? Were you so moved to comment when the Tower of London hosted an arms dinner… before the ceremonial ceramic poppies had even been taken down. All of you who support our soldiers being slaughtered for profit disgust me!

  • LMorgan 13/07/2015, 14:09

    At least we can be glad that the actions of many soldiers in the past has meant they can carry out this protest in a free country, without any reprisals.
    My feelings about this is great sadness.

  • Russell James 13/07/2015, 14:38

    @L Morgan, By free country do you mean a surveillance camera on every street corner making us the most watched nation in the world, do you mean your medical and tax records being sold to private companies. Do you mean your phone being hacked and your emails being recorded. Do you mean a right wing press being owned by a few billionaires. Do you mean 840 billion pounds of tax payers money being given to private bankers. Do you mean the poor’s inability to access the law, do you mean the freedom not to be able to choose our head of state or do you mean zero hours contracts and food banks in a country of plenty. SOME FREEDOM THAT EH

    • LMorgan 13/07/2015, 14:48

      Apologies if my post was in any way confusing. I meant, as I said, free to carry out a protest of this type without. reprisals, such as being shot or imprisoned.
      I respect your opinions in relation to whether you feel this is, or is not, a free country but do not intend to address any of the issues you have raised.

  • Moray Nicol 13/07/2015, 15:06

    I just finished the WW1 memoir of Brigadier General F.P. Crozier, it’s called “The Men I Killed”.

    The dedication at the start reads :

    “To the genuine fighters of all nations who stuck it to the end in the front line, and to the genuine conscientious objectors of all nations who stuck it to the end in jail, this book is dedicated”.

    I think this should state quite clearly to all the people here who have taken offence on behalf of all the “fallen” that they simply don’t understand the professional soldier’s mentality at all. Real soldiers and former soldiers will all salute the courageous actions of these three heroes.

  • Patrick Coss 13/07/2015, 15:13

    To: Mr Boulton, Mr Devlin, Mr Griffin.
    Thank you for this taking this action of conscience.
    Thank you to the Veterans for Peace for giving a
    voice to the voiceless.

  • Lisa Cant 13/07/2015, 19:27

    I cannot adequately express in words my overwhelming respect, admiration and gratitude to you all.

  • Philip Reiss 14/07/2015, 01:17

    When the numbers of members of Veterans For Peace outnumber the knee jerk, carefully propagandized, flag waving misguided so called patriots, then the foreign policies of the UK & USA will veer toward finding peaceful solutions to the troublesome issues generated by greed and the lust for power. To all peaceniks, not a derogatory term to me, stay the course because war is not the answer!

  • Dave Wolfendale 15/07/2015, 06:58

    You guys are amazing – your integrity and courage make me proud to be British – I have not said that in many decades.

  • David Greenhalgh 15/07/2015, 12:52

    I grew up as a child of the military and have followed, researched and challenged militarism most of my life. Thank you for this inspirational act of bravery and personal responsibility.

  • Vicky Cann 16/07/2015, 10:20

    This brought tears to my eyes. You are all so brave standing up and doing this. War has always been wrong, there has always been a motive. I was going to join the RAF at 18 years old, had a preliminary interview where it was suggested that I aim to join Intelligence. Luckily I had the realisation that I would be responsible for dropping bombs on people I’d never met, who had done nothing to hurt me. War is a game the rich play to keep themselves in power and the more people that wake up to this, the less pawns the rich will have to fight for them. Peace be with you all