Residents of Leighton Buzzard came out in force to commemorate soldiers and ex-servicemen in a special Armed Forces Day to mark the anniversary of the First World War .
The event, held on Sunday, celebrated Britain’s heroes both past and present , and was hosted by the SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) to show support for troops and integrate them into the community.
RAF Reserve Police, RAF Henlow and DISC (The Defence Intelligence and Security Centre) all ran display stands at Parson’s Close Recreation Ground, hoping to inspire young people about careers in the army.
SSAFA member and exCatering Corp serviceman, Kevin Lee, 53, said: “ I spoke to the Leighton Buzzard mayor who said my ears must be burning, as so many people were singing our praises.
“The SSAFA originally had the idea for the event and we’re delighted because our small team managed to recruit over 30 volunteers from the Army and Air Cadets to help run the special day.”
Kevin, who served in both Northern Ireland and Germany from 1978-1981, also said the event had offered a welcome opportunity to reminisce about life with the troops.
“The event was important because I’ve served in the army and it’s like a big family.
“It’s great to mix with other ex-servicemen, as there’s always such friendly banter. We have a language of our own!”
The SSAFA would also like to thank Gill Miller and Debbie Marsh from the Leighton Buzzard Town Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Karen Lang and the Central Beds Partnership Team, and Lieutenant Colonel Simon Wilkinson for their help with organising the event.
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