Tag Archives: Army

Boris Johnson thanks the Armed Forces and talks of the legacy of London 2012


Lord Coe thanks the Armed Forces for their role at the Olympics

Life Destroying Afflictions helped by Surf Action


An organisation founded to support service personnel suffering from physical and psychological conditions has been shortlisted for a national award and they need your vote!

Surf Action, helps ex-forces, serving military and blue light services to deal with their ongoing physical and mental scars whilst enjoying themselves on the beach. 

They have been selected as one of the finalists for the Big Lottery People’s Millions Awards for 2010.  The winners of the competition, run by the Big Lottery Fund  in conjunction with ITV are awarded grants worth up to £50,000.

Surf Action was set up just over a year ago by Rich Emerson, a former member of the Armed Forces.  Rich suffered from PTSD following service in Iraq.  He found that surfing allowed him to focus his mind in a positive manner and helped him to  manage and live with his disorder.  He started the scheme after seeing a similar project in the United States and they have already helped servicemen and women suffering from both physical and psychological injuries. 

Listen to my interview with Rich Emerson
[Audio http://audioboo.fm/boos/223474-surf-action.mp3%5D

The vote will take place by phone on Thursday 25th November.  The number will be available from the Surf Action website but if you wish to register your support before hand then this can be done at the People’s Millions Website.

“Winning the vote will allow us to make a huge difference to the lives of people who have given all in the sacrifice of their country”

Rich Emerson, Director of Surf Action

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