Richard Oliff: Reminder of Armed Forces’ contribution

Richard writes in praise of Armed Forces Day
Richard writes in praise of Armed Forces Day

During the last week in June thousands of people from all over the country descended on a given space to celebrate their local Armed Forces Day.

The idea is to continue to remind us all of the contributions made on our behalf, and to our country, by Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

The day also gives us the opportunity to show support for everyone involved from currently serving troops to service families and from veterans to cadets who live and work within our own communities.

Last Sunday I found myself in the middle of Market Harborough on the sound-stage of HFM radio.

In the distance I could see the variety of ‘Tonka’-shaped khaki coloured Army vehicles, whose fascination on a hot summer’s day had more to do with their enormity and unique design than their original lethal intention.

Dotted around the perimeter of a fenced-off display arena were various charity stalls representing the many militarily-associated organisations which provide backup to all three services.

The proceedings were heralded by the sound of a Scottish piper as the parade of regular forces personnel, veterans, cadets and cadet musicians began to muster on the parade ground, all under the control of a sword carrying Naval officer.

Amid the speeches, music, cadet and fabulous dog displays, was the ever-present reminder of precisely why we were there.

This was a demonstration by all concerned of their continued awareness of the men and women in all of our Armed Forces who are on active service right now in some of the most harrowing and inhospitable places one could imagine.

It’s about the support that today’s wounded soldiers and their families receive on their return home and the amazing champion they have in the shape of the Royal British Legion.