Desk pilots

From: John Bushell

Sent: Saturday, March 02, 2013 1:06 PM

Letter To the Editor: The advertiser

 

simpson and his donkeyI note that the desk pilots, whom comprise the Awards and Honours Tribunal, continue to undermine the supreme sacrifice of two of Australias heroes – Ordinary Seaman Edward Sheean, a WW2 Navy hero and Private John Simpson, a WW1 hero.  Perhaps, I can be excused for feeling just a little ashamed, sharing this country with such people, empowered to make such deliberations without the benefit of having been there on the day these men gave up their lives.  They must have a financial reason for their decisions to deny them the top award.  Almost one hundred years of shame since Simpson died.

 

I am an ex military person (Navy), with operational service in Vietnam, awarded four medals for my service.  I was a non combatant, having never heard the whine of a bullet.  My role in Vietnam was both embarrassingly short and contributed nothing to the final result of the war.  I returned my medals to my State member, after lobbying unsuccessfully to have John Simpson recognised as the brave soldier he was.  I personally never attend ANZAC day celebrations, as the sight of Politicians, standing with hand over their hearts, sickens me!

 

I pray in silence for the brave.

 

What may appear, a conflicting personal opinion, medal awards have become simply tokens struck and issued for the convenience of financially strapped Governments, the cheap option, rather than the expense of worthwhile support for its military.  Such an opinion is mine alone, never intended to take the light from such men as these.  They both deserve the highest medal for valour, the pundits, the condemnation of the nation.  Strapping yourself to a gun and firing at the enemy until the ship sinks, taking you with it, or the repeated rescue of wounded men amid a constant fusillade of bullets – forgive me for making, what should be to the balanced mind, an obvious point, but I see them as exceptionally brave men.  Men were often labelled with Lack of moral fibre after a melt down from their terrible experiences it is well documented, those with the stamp had usually never left the sanctity of their offices.

 

Both men have been given a convenient symbolic label in order to promote Australian pride.  The label symbolises bravery and recognises supreme sacrifice, but that is where it ends.  What a crock of empty accolades.  Rally Australia, let us make these pompous individuals of unsound judgement, swallow their decisions and restore some real pride to this country, are we not a democracy?

 

The Tribunal apparently, cannot find any reason to accept the actions of these two men were any more acts of bravery, than those of any other serviceman. This may hold some truth, but the award of the Victoria Cross to these men, would symbolise the bravery of all the fighting men and women.  May God forgive these poor unfortunate desk wallahs, for they know not what they do.

 

Both men were only boys, E. Sheean, only eighteen years and J Simpson, twenty two “ extremely brave boys.