A civilian reflects…

This year for the first time in my adult life I will be bowing my head in silence to reflect on the sacrifices made by our country as a civilian.  What difference will this make you may ask?  Well for the first time I won’t be wearing uniform, I won’t be surrounded by like minded people, colleagues who have shared my experiences and I’ll have to make my own time to reflect.

When I first arrived at University I was concerned and nervous of the reaction I would receive when I told my fellow students that I was a former member of the Armed Forces.  I was worried that when I told them that I was a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan they would judge me for what I had done.  But instead I was bombarded with questions, queries and I’ve not had a negative word said about my previous career.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to meet many different people from all walks of life, from young students to veterans who fought in campaigns long before I was born.

These Gentlemen were as you would expect dressed in dark blazers.  Medals worn proudly on their left breast pocket and shoes polished to a standard that a Regimental Sergeant Major would be proud of.  I was humbled to hear of the respect that they had for our troops who are now fighting in Afghanistan and other recent conflicts.  But Remembrance Day is not about remembering those that have fallen in the current war or conflict.  It’s about joining together to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country throughout modern history. 

Poppies grow in fields throughout the world, regardless if yours is to remember Flanders or the Somme, Sangin or Kajaki, today is about remembering the victims of war.  It is not a day for politics or spin, it’s a day for thinking of those who have fallen and those that have been left behind.

Danny Venter, Gus Millar (KIA 31/08/09), Willie Ewens, James Banks, Craig Hopson (KIA 25/07/09), Ross McBride, Jamie Steele

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