During this time, the Royal Air Force was engaged in famine relief in the Sahel desert and the mountains of Nepal. It was a massive team effort and something to be very proud of, knowing all the while that we were making a difference. The Nepal famine relief was the biggest air supplied relief since the Berlin Airlift. The simple fact that I was totally immersed in doing what I loved was enough to offset the seriously irksome military discipline side that I never truly fully accepted or even liked.
In all of my years of service, I made countless friends and lost some. I carried out all tasks professionally and without question. I have wonderful memories between 1970 and 1975 when I was in the Royal Air Force and am proud of it. My forces career set me up for my future and I am thankful for that. It was a sound foundation to build on.
I left the Royal Air Force after getting married to Carol and that was in 1975 and I am so fortunate to have her. She understands the problems that veterans have and is most supportive. Carol and I care a great team, much like the forces team I was part of, always looking out for each other.
Having someone or a support structure to rely on is of paramount importance to veterans of the armed forces. If this is not the case all too often veterans feel isolated, alone and misunderstood.
There are a lot of veterans on the streets because they do not have the skillset to transfer and adjust to civilian life. There are simply no positions for army tank gunners, for example. So many veterans have been abandoned by the society that they served. They deserve better than that.
This is why veterans need to be included in a group and supported until they can stand on their own two feet. Time to develop life skills that will see them through and help them find what they don’t even know they are looking for. Give a veteran a chance and most will take it.
Hopefully, this will give some insight into how veterans feel, why they react a certain way and how they need to be treated. Some are strong, some however are very fragile. Some served a complete term whilst others did not. But all served our country and this must never be forgotten. I was lucky not to have been in armed combat in a war zone but many were. So many did not ever come home but as veterans always say “We will remember them.”