It’s April again and the guy’s are back out there, collecting at the forefront of the yearly push that occurs at this time every year, throughout the month of April specifically, on behalf of the Royal Marine Charitable Trust Fund (RMCTF).

 Yet again, despite the current recession and the promised certainty of more doom and gloom to come, the Great Glasgow Public have seen beyond their own personal difficulties to spare a thought and show solidarity in upholding their end of the so called Military Covenant, by approaching the guy’s with a measured smile and maybe a quixotic quip or two, ready as ever to proffer a donation and trade in our well established social currency, the ability to laugh between ourselves and challenge adversity with open contempt.

 Now, while the positive practicalities which require and feed on the cold, hard reality that cash is king, are a very real, much needed and very much appreciated aspect of the street collections, genuine empathy girded with respect is something money just can’t buy. The open warmth, positive support and generosity of spirit that is given freely in buckets full, many times the number that the guy’s actually carry on them, are without question a crucial if not the quintessential element in all of this.

The hard facts are these, without the collective total of the twenty pence pieces, the pound coins, indeed all and any coinage that is dropped into a bucket or slipped into a tin (We still call them tin’s despite the fact they are now made from plastic), the quality of life of many Bootnecks and their families would be sadly lessened, their hopes and aspirations severely curtailed. The public get “it”, they know and understand the cruel realities that many service men and women are left to contend with, caught between their very real needs and the failings of their fiscal provision. The rights and wrongs, left turns, right turns and head spinning u-turns may well be a necessary evil, but for those that do, that help is needed now. Fragile minds and bent bodies are an actuality that should not be compounded by a shortfall of money.

Hence the free flow of donations despite the depressed, Samaritan phoning economy. Above and beyond every alloy chink coming from a bucket or a hand held plastic (it doesn’t work does it?) comes the understated but overpowering din as the Glasgow public let the guy’s know, “We get it!”and they give as little or large as they can (Another name for tin!).

Artificial limbs required and available today are at the swift moving, cutting edge of technology. They cost money and lots of it, they do not come cheap, that would be the NHS supplied artificial voice box. (My apologies, I just couldn’t resist it. The NHS is a respected and highly regarded organisation throughout the various bird populations of the world.) But seriously, if there is a financial cost involved, we as an Association should strive to meet it and the British public will not shirk their part as they have proven again, again and yet again. Thank You. WW.


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