We still remember those that served

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On this year’s Armed Forces Day, 28th June 2014, we celebrate the Armed Forces community within East and West Sussex, and Brighton and Hove.

The day has special significance in a year which marks so many military milestones. We are about to commemorate the centenary of the start of WWI, we have just paid tribute to the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, and we expect to see, by the end of this year, British combat troops returning home from Afghanistan.

All of these conflicts have left a different legacy. It is a legacy which the Sussex Branch of SSAFA is proud to honour. SSAFA was the only military charity to have served our armed forces’ community throughout all of these wars, and many others.

Although we may be moving into a more peaceful period for our Service men and women, the long term impact of war will remain. We have recently been reminded of our veterans who served at D-Day and are soon to be reminded of the lost generations of WWI. We don’t know how those who have served in more recent conflicts will cope as time goes on, but we know they will need us as surely as those who fought in past conflicts.

Each year the Sussex Branch of SSAFA supports around 600 veterans of all ages, including those who fought in WWII and many other conflicts in the intervening years, those who did National Service — and their dependents. But we are already seeing growing numbers of younger veterans coming forward with problems that are increasingly complex. The fact that our Armed Forces are about to experience a reduction in immediate risk to life and limb does not mean that the consequences of past actions cease to exist: far from it.

If you would like help from SSAFA or would like to volunteer to help the local members of the Armed Forces community, you can contact the Sussex Branch of SSAFA on 01403 275495 or at sussexsec@ssafa.me.uk.

Richard Cossins

Branch Secretary, SSAFA Sussex Branch