It's been 2.5 years,
but finally back in
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: United States
Companies giving discounts to Forces personnel is a way in which business, and in turn the wider society can show an appreciation for the work they do. It is more than a job, it is a way of life, and although we (I am RAF Aircrew) chose that career path, we then often relinquish any choice of where we go and what we do.
Only a few short years ago (and again very recently) we were told not to wear our uniform in public for fear of abuse, and putting ourselves and families in danger. I am pleased to say this has changed hugely in the last 5 or so years, and the public has shown great support and respect for the Forces, particularly for the fallen.
I am perhaps digressing from the original post, but my point can perhaps be illustrated by looking to the US. They are openly appreciative of their forces, it shows through their very nature. I worked a lot in the States in 2012, and on multiple occasions I had people approaching me in shops, car parks etc to shake my hand and thank me for my service, even though I'm British in British uniform. Thus you see companies from all over the market offering discounts to Armed Forces. Indeed, I had a conversation with a manager of a well-known designer clothing brand (who had just given me 20% off everything) that he was lobbying to get all the retailers in the shopping centre to offer discounts for military personnel.
It has nothing to do with the government, and taking taxpayers money away from more essential items. It's about a tangible way in which society at home can show an appreciation of the work we do in hot, sandy, dangerous conditions in order to try and keep the world a safer place (I won't go into any political discussion about how our forces are employed etc).
I'm not saying we should all have preferential treatment and get huge discounts on everything - I did choose this career path and I am content with that - but it's a nice surprise when they are sometimes offered.