Friday, 23 November 2007

Swimmers throw abuse at injured servicemen in pool

My blood was boiling earlier today, despite the icy temperatures.

I was deeply saddened to hear about the abuse hurled at injured servicemen, during their hydro-physiotherapy treatment at Leatherhead Leisure Centre. Many of the soldiers had lost limbs or suffered burns and the weekly swim was to boost their rehabilitation.

"One woman, believed to be in her 30s, was so incensed that the soldiers - many of them amputees having returned from conflicts in the Middle East and Asia - were using the pool that she told them that they did not deserve to be there. It is alleged that she told the men that she pays to swim there and they do not. According to witnesses she was so abusive that the soldiers' instructor pulled the groups out of the water to avoid further embarrassment," it was reported on Surrey Online

There has got to be a compromise here. I understand that some people might recoil at the horrors of physical disabilities. On the radio today I heard it reported that one mother said that it was upsetting for her children to witness amputees and victims of burns.

I should like to respond to her....

"What about these brave men who have suffered to give freedom to others? It may be upsetting for your children, but this is the reality of war!"

I don't mean to sound harsh or judgmental, but I feel so disappointed at this abuse. I wonder how this woman would feel, God forbid, if she or her children became disabled or lost limbs? How would she feel if people treated them like lepers?

Where is the compromise? To segregate injured soldiers from the general public? To build a purpose-built pool for the disabled? To allow the disfigured to swim with adults only? I don't know the answer, and call me an old fool if you want, but I just want these wonderful people to be loved and treated with respect, equality and gratitude.

See here for Daily Mirror report.


Steve said...

Such selfishness! I can't believe someone would be so crass and cruel. How can she hold her head up in the street. People need to be better acclimatized to disabilities - it's the only way to bring in true equality. This stupid woman has set things back to the 1920's. I really hope that somebody was strong enough to have a word with her...

Annie said...

I know Steve - it's beyond belief really.

You are right about acclimatizing people; integrating children with disabilities would produce fewer adult bigots.

Yeah, I bet that several people have said more than a few words....