The Christmas Cheer is upon us again. A celebration of the birth of Christ and a time of good cheer.
Many of us spent some of our Christmases past in odd parts of the world on Operations. While we have no major body of troops engaged this Christmas but still have troops in 16 different countries all engaged in the myriad of tasking’s that promote our Nation and our Corps as the world leaders in Air minded Force Protection. To them we will raise our glasses on Christmas Day and toast their Health and well-being and wish them a safe journey home to their families. To those families, we hope that they will soon be reunited with their loved ones.
We give special thoughts also for those who were wounded, both physically and mentally and returned home to a changed future. Those of our brothers who have been scarred especially with the curse of PTSD will fight unseen battles for years and we wish them courage and fortitude in coping with that and help wherever and whenever we can. Sometime it is easy to lose sight of the great sense of comradeship and responsibility our unique Regiment engenders.
Many, many small acts of kindness go on from Branches and individuals.
Even on line, with the enormous and praiseworthy Band of Brothers Facebook Group, who have raised thousands of pounds for our Heritage Centre and for other welfare and Regimental Projects, that flame of responsibility and comradeship burns brightly.
I know many of you will be thinking this Christmas on the recent events in Northern Ireland where it would appear that another witch hunt is about to take place under the guise of a Inquiry into every terrorist death during the Troubles. Many of us served in the Corps longest campaign and are understandably shocked and saddened over this. Events were not as tightly contained then as now, no whizz bang helmet cams or instant encoded communications, often just a gunner on his own with a “brick”, cut off and isolated and under attack – Who is to say what motivates actions at such junctures.
I, like many of you, feel it demeans the service we gave and underlines the lack of political backbone that has pervaded successive governments in the years since the Good Friday Agreement. Is it any wonder that men who were in harms way and served at their country’s direction are asking the question, “if convicted murderers all have get out of jail cards free why don’t we?” Fair question, one I am sure we will all agree with.
I wish you all an untroubled and enjoyable Christmas and look forward to the New Year where we will celebrate our 75th year with many celebrations