Armed Forces Day – Bolton 2011
As an ex Serviceman, having served as a Royal Naval Officer during the 1980’s it was heartening to witness the events in Bolton Town Centre this weekend, celebrating Armed Forces Day and to see how current serving Service People are held in high regard by the general public.
In 1982, during the Falklands Conflict, I remember wondering if the people at home had any idea what was going on in the South Atlantic, so far from their minds did we think we were. Not until well into the fighting phase of the conflict, after ships had been sunk and people killed did we get any inkling as to the mass media furore that was taking place.
I don’t think that can be said today, with instant communications through the internet and satellite links, we are kept abreast of every changing event, witnessing engagements in real time and experiencing the ‘Soldiers’ life through numerous documentary style television programmes.
We have come to appreciate the sacrifices made by servicemen from every walk of life and understand the hardships and terror being experienced on a daily basis. The front line coverage and fly on the wall reporting of conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and other global theatres ensures that everyone at home knows exactly what is going on and believe me you can’t underestimate just how important that is to the morale of everyone involved.
Knowing that, even if a large percentage of the general public may believe that we as a nation should not be involved in the way we are in certain areas of international conflict but also knowing that by far the vast majority of those people appreciate the job those on the ground are doing and respect them for it will make a huge difference to the way that job is carried out.
Some people say ‘it’s their choice of career and they get paid to do it’ but believe me, when you are away from home for a long period, working under very stressful conditions and literally facing the threat of death on a daily basis, to know that people at home, friends, relatives and even strangers are thinking about you, it is the sweetest thought of all.
Recognition for their efforts through media coverage, Servicemen’s Charters and talk about ‘priority’ status being granted to serving and ex service personnel is long overdue for a group of people whose real daily traumas can only be imagined by most of us back at home.
Well done to all those men, women and in some cases boys and girls who have had the guts to sign up to the Armed Forces, I salute you!
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi I am Gaynor Ramsden and am passionate about all things Bolton. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs and find them to be interesting and thought provoking. I would love you to add your personal comments...