This story has been run in “The News”, my local paper, four times to my knowledge. More space has been given to this story than any other “near homeless” family tale.
So I can only guess that either the family know someone at The News and are playing the sympathy vote for all its worth or this is a pretty pathetic attempt at attacking David Cameron and the government.
The issues here are pretty straightforward, as reported by The News ……
- Mark Hampson – Joined the army and gave 23 years service with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For this we, as a nation are truly grateful.
- Mark Hampson and his family have lived in the same army quarters for 18 years.
This subsidised accomodation has enabled Hampson and his family to live a reasonably comfortable life with the MOD being responsible for the property maintenance and quite possibly, in those 23 years, providing a new upgraded kitchen and bathroom. I make the last comment based on my army-wife granddaughters experience after spending a short period of time in married quarters.
- Mark Hampson has survived a battle with cancer.
For this he does have my sympathy. To be diagnosed with cancer is not easy and it can have adverse effects on friends and family too.
- Mark Hampson became a self-employed lorry driver. So he is fit enough to work.
- Mark Hampson – Left the army a year ago but only now does he realise he will lose his home.
This is totally rubbish. He knew when he signed up for the married quarters that he would have to leave at some time. So he has had at least 18 years to prepare for leaving this house. You don’t just suddenly up and leave the army unless you are getting dishonorable discharge or you go AWOL . You have to give notice which starts a number of wheels into motion. If you are being medically discharged a lot more wheels are set in motion. The army does try to prepare soldiers for exit. Again, based on talking to my granddaughters husband who is currently going through the exit procedures for leaving the army. There is money available for re-training as preparation for life on civvy street.Oh and let’s not forget the following which I lifted straight off the Army website.
After two years of Regular service you’ll have earned an Army pension that will be paid when you get to the age of 65. And if you serve for 12 years you’ll be entitled to a tax-free resettlement grant on retirement too. Anybody aged over 40 who has served for at least 18 years gets the right to claim an immediate pension and tax-free lump sum on leaving the Army, and a second lump sum when they turn 65.
With 23 years in the army Hampson more than qualifies for pension and lump sum. Add to this any additional funds, if Mark Hampson is being medically discharged. In one of the four articles he is quoted as saying
He applied to join the army’s security services but he said he was not deemed fit enough following his recovery from cancer.
In summary Mr Hampson has known for at least 18 years that MOD accommodation was not for life, that he would have to give up the house provided by the army.
He has known for sometime that he was leaving the army and did in fact leave a year ago. Since then it appears that he has done nothing to prepare for this moment. What has he done with the lump sum ? Has he used it as a deposit either for a mortgage or for rental accommodation ?
On the evidence presented by The News he is expecting the British Tax Payer to bail him out and apparently it is David Camerons responsibility
All this on the back of a pledge by the Prime Minister of the formation of a ‘heroes’ committee’ to give service personnel the support they need when leaving the forces.
The News reported this week how he has found it difficult to find accommodation through Chichester District Council’s housing scheme – despite assurances from Prime Minister David Cameron that former servicemen and women will be supported after leaving the armed forces.
The implication is that it is Camerons responsibility to hand him a council house or to allow him to remain in his current house.
He said: ‘It’s a bit of a shock that it’s happened so quickly. The stress of it is a bit worrying – we don’t know where to turn.
‘I’ve served my time and thought there might be a bit of advice and help to go forward.’
It hasn’t happened “quickly”, it isn’t a shock when you know it is going to happen. Even if you ignore the 18 year long awareness he has been ex-army for a year so knew he was on limited tenure in this house.
Mrs Hampson said they have been offered temporary accommodation but would have to re-home the family dogs – labradors Sasha and Mollie. She added: ‘We couldn’t get rid of the dogs, it would break us and Mark.
So they didn’t consider putting the dogs into kennels while they found permanent accomodation ?
And now that the eviction has happened and the family are living apart we are expected to be sympathetic. Well it’s not going to happen. This family have really made themselves homeless by lack of planning and an assumption that the government or the local council has a responsibility to look after them. Nothing reported by The News has shown this family to be anything other than a bunch of scroungers.
This is why I have no sympathy for this ex-soldier.
War veterans deserve so much more than this…- Defence – Portsmouth News.
War hero’s family writes to MP over eviction- Defence – Portsmouth News.
After 23 years of service veteran faces losing home- Defence – Portsmouth News.
Evicted ex-soldier apart from family – Defence – Portsmouth News.
4 thoughts on “Why I Have No Sympathy For Evicted Ex-Soldier”
What an odd story! I’m astonished that he could have convinced himself that the accommodation was provided unconditionally of whether he still did the job or not. I understand the need for re-training to re-enter ‘civvy street’ but I’m surprised he needs to re-training to re-enter the real world! “You don’t get nowt for nowt” as my Mum has always said.
I was amazed that he got four separate articles supporting him in the paper. The News obviously don’t read the comments attached to their articles either. The whole thing is beyond belief.
Scrounges are you having a laugh. 23yrs of unconditional service going where and when needed. Let me assure you this man has not lived in the same accommodation for 23yrs and I will guarantee you that in his last years he will not have been given time to get his life sorted as he was still serving and going where ever this country required as the service comes first. If 23yrs was easy as you have hinted (nice wage, nice house ect) everyone would do. I doubt that you yourself would put up with 20hr days working 6 months without a day of on many occasions while not seeing those kids and gran kids you keep harping on about or being without your life partner because your country requires it. This is not the first or the last soldier that this has happend to and with respect to the other homeless 25 percent are ex service men and women who I presume are just scroungers in your mind to then. Say thank you for giving your life to making me and my family safe and giving me the security to raise my children in the country you protected with your life and hang your head in shame.
Now you have gotten that off your chest I suggest you go back and read my post again and take my points in the context in which I made them not as a general rant against forces personnel …..
You state ….
As reported by the News ….
That’s 18 out of the 23 years service given. After that period of time I can understand that he might be reluctant to leave the family home but my point still stands. And as you yourself implied, with your 2nd sentence, moving is an occupational hazard of joining the forces. However, leaving the forces is like death and taxes, inevitable. He has had 18 years to prepare for this moment and he may well have been serving abroad for much of that time but you and I both know that he has not spent 23 years posted abroad. And lets not forget that, at the time of my post, he had been out of the army for well over a year. Seems to me that the army gave Mr Hampson ample time to find alternative accommodation.
At no time did I say that Mr Hampsons 23 years of service would have been easy but this isn’t about his service.
This is about not taking responsibility for his current situation and expecting someone else, the local council, the British taxpayer or whoever to sort out his accomodation needs.
You’re right, this is not the first or last soldier that this has happened to. And I do not assume that they are all scroungers. I am sure many of them find themselves homeless for all sorts of reason and also due to circumstances not of their making. But that’s the difference.
Mr Hampson doesn’t have to be homeless, has been offered alternative accommodation but he and his wife made a choice. They chose not to prepare for his leaving the army and they have chosen to turn down accommodation that they were offered and, on at least one occasion, due to the fact that they couldn’t take their dogs.
They made choices.
Say thank you !! Yes of course.
Hang my head in shame !!! No. Emphatically no.
Based on the many News articles my view still is that Mr Hampson and his wife could have done a lot more and that they put themselves in this situation and have no rights to expect others to make it all right for them.