a wry smile?

Brown Dog

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2003
This did the rounds at work a while back; answer in a local paper to a complaining letter from a local civilian, if you take the time to read it, it may make you smile [former colonials may prefer to shout hoo-yah /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif]:

Letters to the Editor (pg. 17)

YOUR tired and anonymous reader from Cole Close wrote complaining about military helicopters, asking who gave them permission to fly over his house, waking him in the night.

Well, I live near Cole Close, I can tell the gentleman that the helicopters (which woke me too, briefly) fly in the air corridor over open land to the east of Andover, away from housing.

But the ones he complains of so bitterly were Chinooks and their noise travels on calm, windless nights.

The Chinooks were flying to part of a recent army exercise on Salisbury Plain, an exercise for soldiers who recently returned from six months in Iraq and who will no doubt return there (or to Bosnia or to Afghanistan, or Africa, or wherever the UK Government next decides to keep the peace).

UK exercises provide a brief, safe opportunity for the Army and RAF to practice operations or test new equipment and to train new personnel without the threat of enemy fire.

They take place infrequently and are well planned, avoiding as much disruption as possible and keeping noise to a minimum. But inevitably someone’s back yard is encroached, even briefly. Even in Cole Close.

No doubt the next day Mr Grumpy of Cole Close drove safely via Kiel Drive and avoided the non-existent shell holes not obstructing Saxon Way, with no danger of ethnic snipers from ‘that lot’ in Charlton or Enham Alamein trying to pick him off.

His spouse may have followed him, delivering children to school without having to run the gauntlet of bigoted hate-filled neighbours intent on stoning them as they passed.

And when he returned home (possibly upset by a hash email from someone in accounts or angry because the stationary cupboard had run out of paper clips) no burning bodies lay in the road.

His house had not been burnt down because guerrillas from Winton objected to his religion. Or place of birth. Or skin colour. Or language. Or narrow-mindedness.

He could barbecue in the garden, leaving the children to play safely in the adjacent nature reserve, because the Andover Revolutionary Party had not booby-trapped their footsteps or land-mined the roads.

Wake up and smell the peace Mr Nimby! You and I and the other residents of Andover owe a huge thank you to our soldiers and aircrew who do our Government’s bidding under terrible conditions month after month.

And when they do need a few nights per year to exercise in safety then I for one am happy to hear the helicopters pass by. After all, they won’t be firing missiles into my back yard. Will they?

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