An elderly veteran of the armed forces in Britain was brutally beaten and assaulted by a group of drunken thugs, simply because he was wearing his old military jacket.
According to Daily Mail, Anthony O’Brien, 69, had just met with friends to plan for the funeral of a veteran who served with him when he was approached by two teenagers he later described as being either asian or mixed race.
“Blow up all soldiers – death to all soldiers,” they shouted at him, before they knocked him to the ground and began beating him. O’Brien finally managed to stagger home and he was taken to the hospital, where he spent the next five weeks recovering from his wounds. He has been wheelchair-bound since the incident, and now suffers from a series of long-term health problems stemming from the assault.
“The victim was left extremely shaken and he is still recovering from his injuries,” said Police Constable Michael Seddon. “This was a mindless and brutal attack on a vulnerable member of the community.”
“In particular, we would like to speak with the man who stopped his car just after the attack,” the police officer continued. “We would urge anyone with information to come forward.”
O’Brien later described in detail what happened during the assault:
“We were deciding who was going where and where we were meeting.
‘I’d had one pint and then left to go home. As I was walking down the street, I saw these two lads at the end and as I got near them they started shouting and swearing.
‘They were shouting “f****** shoot all you bastards and blow your soldiers up. Death to all soldiers”.
I was scared. I was wearing my RAF blazer and my poppy, I wear it regularly because it’s smart and I’m proud of it. I thought they were drunk or something.
I told them to leave me alone but then the little fellow hit me on the side of my head.
Then the other fellow must have run round because the next thing he was right in front of me coming towards my head and I didn’t have time to move and he headbutted me.
Then they ran away. I don’t even know how I got home to my flat, that’s where I had been going in the first place.
I got home and phoned my son’s mate and said what had happened but not to tell my son because I felt so stupid, but he told my son anyway.”
Forensic officers are now examining O’Brien’s RAF blazer to see if they can get any DNA from the boys, who have not yet been found.
“These [boys] who did this to me are nothing but cowardly scum,” said O’Brien, a father of two sons who also has two grandchildren. “I wear my poppy with pride because of those people who laid down their lives for this country and I march every year on Remembrance Sunday yet these thugs obviously treat all that with utter contempt.”
“I wouldn’t do what they did to me to a dog. It really gets me angry, if they had any respect they wouldn’t have said what they said or attacked me,” he continued. “I want them caught, they could do it to someone older than me and it could be so much worse for them than even what has happened to me.”
“At the end of the day they are cowards for doing it to an older person, one of them was a big fellow – he should have picked on someone his own size,” O’Brien concluded.
It’s sickening that veterans are being treated like this all over the world by the very people they risked their lives to protect.