There are few people who can claim to have saved a Nation. Winston Churchill is such a man, without his leadership during the Second World War its arguable that I would not have the freedom to sit in front of this keyboard and produce rubbish like this.
One of my favourite quotations is often attributed to George Orwell but its in fact one of Churchill’s.
“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”
It’s as true today as it was back then. We are constantly made aware of the men and women fighting in Afghanistan, but it applies equally back home. For example there are aircraft on QRA alert over the holidays, these have to be manned and serviced all by people who are away from their families at Christmas. The same goes for the Search and rescue Helicopters and countless other branches of the Military who likewise are spending Christmas waiting for the phone to ring.
I could go on, but my point is that over this festive period, they have our backs! We owe it to them to watch theirs in times of hardship.
To that end I would urge you to make a contribution to a forces Charity over the festive period. I’ll pop a list at the end of this missive.
Back with the Afghanistan conflict a young Soldier who is a friend of a friend of mine was badly wounded back in August. His sister has set up a Facebook Group and this week his Mother posted on it. I read it on the way to work this morning and I was in tears by the time I had finished. Here is a small extract.
“As Christmas approaches I would like to thank and to wish the following who we have met during the last few months a very Merry Christmas
1. Every member of the Afghan medical team who managed to get Jack back to the U.K.
2. Every member of the Critical Care Team -who fought against the odds to keep Jack alive
3. Staff on Ward 412 including Vicky and Gina the physio team still looking after Jack
4. Father Michael for his support, compassion and friendship – I say friendship as I feel he is now become such a true friend (one where you can take the mickey out of which we do ha ha)
5. S.A.F.F.A – for giving us the opportunity to stay near to the hospital so we can be near Jack.
6. D.M.W.S. – each and every one of you – Glynn especially.
7. The M.L.O’s including the drivers who take us to the hospital daily on the minibus.
8. All the families we have met – who I know will be friends forever.
9. To Julie Deady, Dan and everyone in the family, thank you, our paths will cross again one day and this Christmas our thoughts and love will be with you. God bless.
10. To our good friend Julie- who has become a good friend to us from Critical Care (and Julie’s mum)
11. My sister Pam and brother in law Geoff – thank you for everything
12. To my brother in law Barry, sister in law Sue and nephew Barry Lee for making the journey so many times from Dubai – an immense thank you. How many bratties have you got left Sue. Thank you for your kind invitation to come to Dubai – I must admit it sounds very tempting.
13. Donna and Guy Carter – again a thousand thanks.
14. Our lovely Julia “Titchmarsh” – holding the fort for us – again Julia thank you.
15. Jayne and John Chinnock – thank you for the wonderful letters and parcels for Jack.
16. 33 Engineer Regiment/101 Engineer Regiment.
17. Colonel Phil – a million thanks.
18. John Rigby – our Visiting Officer- a million thanks John.
19. Ivan “the terrible”
20. Tom Curly – thank you Tom – good luck with the ward. Jack is very proud of you. Wish you were here nursing!
21. To all members of Jack’s Search Team – without you and you’re response Jack would not be here today.
22. To my husband Andy – I’m so very sorry – I still question and ask why us but have no words to answer that.
23. To my wonderful, stunning daughter Annie –I have no words to thank her – if there is any employer out there who wants the best look no further than Annie Kimber Cummings. She has been my rock, my support and my strength. God bless you Annie and thank you.
24. To Jack Andrew James Cummings – my son –no one can be prouder of you than me- you are a true hero, you have fought my darling against all the odds – everyone loves you on the ward – you never complain and have a kind word for everyone. I am so proud of you. Thank you.
25. And lastly to each and every member on Jack’s page – I thank you from the bottom of my heart knowing that each and every one are praying for Jack and willing him on. I do thank the Leeds fans but as a Fulham Supporter myself – well what can I say – no don’t boo me please………………………………………………….
A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU AND A VERY HAPPY PEACEFUL AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR”
That just about sums it up.
This post may seem a little downbeat, its not meant to be. I am in awe of these people, their families and their friends. Remember, they are all volunteers.
Finally, it wouldnt be a post by me if there wasnt a few gratuitous aircraft shots. These from showing the Tornado F3.
Happy Christmas one and all, heres to a peaceful and safe 2011.