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Thursday, 10 November 2011

We Will Remember Them

I hope that this post finds you enjoying a lovely Thursday lunchtime. I am indeed very happy and extremely excited this afternoon, as this evening I head off on a road trip back home for the weekend, for my dad's birthday and for a very dear friend's wedding.
As a result of the above, this post will be my last until Monday morning; as a weekend as physically busy as this will be very difficult for me, so I will almost certainly have to take additional morphine which will render me severely fatigued and significantly lacking in concentration: therefore, any post that I may write to you will be very much lacking in any coherent content- well, even more so than it perhaps usually is anyway!
Before I head off my long weekend away, I'd like to leave you with this link to Private Aron Shelton's story on The Royal British Legion website, to read and ponder upon.
http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/can-we-help/who-we-help/aron-shelton

Naturally as a wife of a serving member of the RAF, I have been, and will continue to wear my poppy with immense pride over this Remembrance Weekend, and I continue to be extremely shocked and disappointed by the views and behaviour of  the likes of FIFA and Poundland, who have acted so disgracefully over their mislead opinions on the wearing of a poppy- which is not political and is simply a symbol of remembrance to those who have so sadly been taken from us, as well as very importantly being a symbol of peace.
Through all the military personnel that I have been so privileged to meet since my time marriage to the forces, I have got to learn of so many inspiring tales of immense bravery and heroism of those both in the military and those also married to it, who have suffered bereavement in the most tragic of circumstances.
Like many I'm sure, over the last few years I have become acutely aware of the charity Help For Heroes, who along with the likes of the individual forces benevolent funds, The Royal British Legion and SSAFA, (who we have been personally been fortunate enough to benefit from during our most difficult time in my illness)- admirably raise awareness of, and funds for, those who have been injured in, or affected by current conflicts, ( with the latter mentioned, also helping those who have been affected in conflicts prior to Afghanistan and Iraq).
If you don't already sport the accessory of a Help For Heroes wristband, you can buy one, along with many other items to show support for our forces, at H4Hs online shop- the link for which you can find at the bottom of his post.
Unfortunately there are so many lives to be remembered and honoured, over so many years- those who have been injured and emotionally scarred, as well as those who have so tragically lost their lives for the sake of others. There are just such an immense number of people who have died, who all had friends and family that loved them who have had their lives turned upside-down, who we need to think of and pay respect for this weekend and every day.
With so many lives to be remembered, it is so crucial that we ALL take the time over this important weekend to remember those who gave their health or mobility, or indeed the ultimate price for others.
As the writer of a blog which focuses upon the psychological affects on people's lives of becoming disabled, it would be wrong of me not to pay particular attention today to the stories of those have had to face such a battle- which is why I direct you towards The Royal British Legion website to view a few such stories, such as the aforementioned Private Aron Shelton's- the link for which is included at the top of this post.

A few years ago, my husband and I, along with my beloved Barley dog, took a trip in our van to France where we travelled down the coast all the way to La Rochelle. On the way back to Calais, my husband and I felt is extremely important that we should spend at least a day or two visiting the beaches where the D Day landings took place, as well as the Bayeux war cemetery.
Words really can not do justice to the overwhelming feeling that consumes you when you visit these places. Thinking of the amount of young lives that were snuffed out before they even had a chance to grow up- it's just so incredibly sad and the figures, when you see just a fraction symbolised by a sea of white headstone, is really quite incomprehensible!
 The thing that shocked me most about visiting the war cemetery, was seeing the ages of the pilots, soldiers and navy and RAF personnel who lost their lives. The most frequent age that I saw on the headstones was of 18 and 19 year olds!
I earnestly hope that this Remembrance Sunday, those young adults that took part in the disgraceful riots of the summer of 2011, will be touched by at least one piece of media relating to this such incredible generation of youth, as well as those young men and women who to this day we continually hear about on our news dying in the line of fire.
As someone who used to work with young people, I know that this negative projection of our youth is not applicable to all. You only have to have watched The Pride of Britain Awards or the forthcoming 'Millies', (The Military Awards), to see this: but I do believe that we all should dedicate time this weekend to remember the lengths that our military have gone to for others, both in past and present day, so that we all pay more respect to those who deserve it.
A few years ago, my husband and his colleagues lost dear friends in conflict and I would personally like to remember them today, and over this weekend, along with the wonderful wives and children of these brave men, who have so tragically been left behind.
The RAF community has also lost another of it's heroes this week, in the death of Red 5- Sean Cunningham, of The Red Arrows.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends right now, as well as with the family of Jon Egging of 'The Reds' who also tragically lost his life after a display in Bournemouth back in August of this year.

Please wear your poppy with pride to acknowledge the lives of those no longer with us, and to give financial support to The Royal British Legion who help the lives of so many who have been injured in conflict, as well as those who have lost loved ones so tragically.

Over the last couple of years, a friend of mine has had the honour of meeting and photographing the incredible veterans who march each year to remember their fallen comrades who were never blessed with the privilege of growing old like them. 
Below is one of my favourite piccies from his collection, along with a link to my friend Duncan Raban's site to view the full album. http://duncanraban.co.uk/my-pictures/src/project/our-wonderful-veterans
Please check out the following sites and show support for those who have done, and continue to do, so much for us all.
We will remember them.

SAFFA   http://www.ssafa.org.uk/  
RAF Benevolent Fund   http://www.rafbf.org/
Help For Heroes  http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/
Hounds For Heroes   http://houndsforheroes.com/
The Royal Navy Benevolent Fund http://www.rnbt.org.uk/
The Soldiers Charity http://www.soldierscharity.org/
Afghan Heroes http://www.afghanheroes.org.uk/content.asp?c=2

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