A spoof commercial for everyone's favorite hero shows action man as a suicidal, lonely veteran with PTSD and a drinking problem.
This spoof TV ad for retro toy hero ‘action man’ is realistic in more ways than one. Making a political point about the terrible circumstances many army veterans find themselves in when returning from war, this short video is pretty thought-provoking.
Action man is in debt, he’s lonely, he’s afraid, he’s smashing things up in the room, he’s snorting coke, he has a colostomy bag, he’s in a wheelchair, he’s trying to hang himself.
Dramatic? Maybe not. After all, we’ve all seen the patriotic appreciation and deep respect our leaders have for soldiers when they are sending them to war- but what about the total disrespect shown when they come back? Thousands of army veterans face homelessness, poverty and a lack of urgent mental health support when they return from duty. It doesn’t matter how many speeches politicians give about soldiers’ ‘heroic sacrifices’, their actions don’t match up to their words. This commercial, called ‘Action Man: Battlefield Casualties’, highlights all these issues in a powerful way.
Action man comes complete with all the essentials for a soldier returning from war.
The film was commissioned by Veterans for Peace UK, who say it is a protest against the British army’s policy of recruiting 16-year-olds into the most dangerous army jobs. The organization recently staged a protest in London just before the WW1 Remembrance day, where they threw their medals to the ground and attacked militarism. The veterans said they were too young to realize what they had signed up for, and they have deep regrets about following orders that were often immoral. The action man commercial is part of a wider campaign to educate young people about the possible consequences of joining the army. Veterans for Peace UK says it aims to:
- Educate young people on the true nature of military service and war.
- Resist war and militarism through nonviolent action.
- Stand in solidarity with people resisting militarism and war.
‘We hope to convince people that war is not the answer to the problems of the 21st century,’ the organization’s website states. Members want to see the phasing-out of nuclear armament, and an end to constant foreign ‘interventions’ by the USA and Britain. They want the media to stop glorifying war, using their own experiences to counteract this narrative in a refreshingly honest way.
If you agree with their cause, and if you feel that army veterans should be respected and supported by the governments who send them to war so readily, please share this campaign video.
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