The continuing importance of charitable work
geared towards military veterans
The contributions that military veterans have made to this country, and its people, throughout history is in no doubt. Their sacrifices have bettered the lives of millions of British citizens, and given them something incomprehensible: their freedom. It may feel as though this nation can never do enough to repay the brave men and women that have fought for their country, but it can certainly try.
Supporting military veterans: Everybody’s duty
While military organisations do all that they can to look after and support service personnel during their engagement many veterans are often left feeling scared and alone once their careers come to an end. Depression and anxiety, feelings of loneliness, financial inexperience, and related health issues can plague veterans long after their time in the military is over, yet few people realise how deep their sacrifices have been. Luckily, there are a number of charities dedicated to the support of these veterans, offering financial advice, medical care, counselling and therapy, or rehoming services to these brave men and women. In turn, however, charities such as the Royal British Legion, Combat Stress, and Help for Heroes rely on the generosity of the British public in order to exist; as veterans once protected the citizens of Great Britain and beyond, now they must aid the veterans.
The RAF Association and its work
Touted as an idea in 1929, provisionally founded in 1930, and given King George VI’s patronage in 1936, the RAF Association, or RAFA, is one such charity that is dedicated to supporting, and improving the lives of, military veterans, specifically those that served in the Royal Air Force. Its aim is to create a community around serving personnel and their families, and those that are now retired, to ensure they are supported and treated fairly during their employment, and looked after once they have left the military. The types of service on offer include respite care, financial advice, and career advice. In short, to ensure that no member of the RAF, no matter what role they play, or have played, is ever on their own.
The RAFA also dedicates its time to making sure that the Great British Public never forgets the sacrifices made by its aviators, or the tireless efforts of the ground crew. A 75th anniversary coin, which was produced by the London Mint Office to commemorate the Battle of Britain, was released at the end of last year, and stands as a testament to such bravery. Without these men and women, the outcome of this pivotal battle during the Second World War would have been very different indeed. It altered Hitler’s strategy completely, and allowed the allies to fight back. Such a moment, and such skill and determination, should be rewarded, even now. Gestures like this commemorative coin ensure that Britain’s military past is never forgotten and that veterans receive the recognition, and help, they deserve. The commemorative coin has also helped to raise awareness of the RAFA and its work, furthering its potential for helping veterans across the country.
Combat, and the military services, is something that people seldom like to think about; it signals disruption, chaos, and danger, and brings with it a sense of sorrow and loss. There are, however, hundreds of dedicated service men and women around the world who make it their duty to not only think about such moments, but to run straight into them with only the public’s safety on their mind. The charitable work that is geared towards military veterans is vital; helping these brave men and women long after their duty is done. It is only right that the public repays this debt whenever they can.
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