Don’t call me a Hero by Ben Wright

Hero?This picture was taken a few years after my departure from the UK Armed Forces. I took to the streets marching with past and present serving members, to a clapping and cheering general public. Why were they clapping us?

This picture was published of me. I am marching behind a serving Royal Marine. The Journalist labelled me a hero, yet; never knew my name.

The journalist was not in Afghanistan with me. He or she did not know what happened there or what I did there. Who are they to call me a hero? Did they label me a hero because I was wearing a Royal Marines beret? Or is it because I have a medal for service in Afghanistan pinned to my chest?

This admiration for our ‘heroism’ only distracts from the true reason why we attend remembrance parades. To remember those who have fought and died.

We must open our eyes and see that the hero caricature is imposed on our armed forces of today to fool us into supporting wars that do not need to be fought.

I did not die, thus my duty as a survivor is to bring awareness to the cruel reality of conflict, if not, I am doing a great injustice to those who did die.

My obedience and service was abused. I was lied to and lead to believe our reasons were just. I did not serve queen or country. I participated in a conflict that has inevitability brought more harm to people of this country. The country I swore to protect.

I am not a hero.


Ben Wright served with the Royal Marines in Afghanistan and is now a member of Veterans For Peace UK


  1. Paul Kennedy says:

    I think this is a fantastic movement and something I would like to get involved in. I will be perfectly honest here and say that over the years, I have been angered by not only lying, war mongering politicians but also horrific atrocities that our forces have been involved in and have been covered up. But thus restores some of my faith that there are good, decent people out there who joined up for all sorts of reasons abd are just as angry as me. I think people who stand up to fascism and oppression deserve respect but ultimately, I want peace and I can’t think of anyone more credible to promote peace than those who have seen war first hand. Easy for me to criticize and shout about peace while sitting at home so well done to all involved in this.

  2. Joe Glenton says:

    Well said, Ben. Regular little writer.

  3. Hello Ben,
    Well said and solidarity from Veterans for Peace Ireland


  4. bob says:

    Thank you, and solidarity from VFP Chicago.

  5. Thank you Ben, George, Les and Mike. You all make me very, very proud!

    Jerry Genesio
    Bridgton, Maine, USA
    VFP Founder

  6. Mike says:

    Just to add my message of thanks and respect.

    You have all proved your bravery in the past. I consider you are doing it again by standing up and fighting for peace now. Who could know better than you the tragedy of the wasted and maimed lives.

    I have alway previously found my attitudes to the undoubted bravery and good intentions of many members of our armed forces poisoned by my belief in the cynical use/abuse of them in recent political conflicts by our leaders.

    I have waited much of my life to see something like this started. You have restored at least some of my faith that the truth will eventually get out..

    Thank you all again and my solidarity in your campaign.


  7. lesgibbo says:

    Welcome George, and well done Ben – strong and succinct!

  8. George says:

    Well said and I joined VFP UK yesterday. Looking forward to getting involved and helping when and where I can. George

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