Take into account impact on regiment
PUBLISHED: 19:12 28 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 11 May 2010
AS a partner of a serving Army Officer, who is also a Royston resident and has served recently in Afghanistan, I wish to make comment on the aspiration to hold a parade for the Royal Anglian Regiment. While it is admirable that Joe McDonald and the Royst
AS a partner of a serving Army Officer, who is also a Royston resident and has served recently in Afghanistan, I wish to make comment on the aspiration to hold a parade for the Royal Anglian Regiment.
While it is admirable that Joe McDonald and the Royston councillors wish to demonstrate their support for the regiment, I feel that they have failed to take into account one important aspect - the impact on the regiment.
The Royal Anglian Regiment is currently recovering from the high demands of operations.
It will have spent up to seven months away in a truly demanding environment.
I am sure the soldiers would be pleased to know that Royston wishes to recognise them for their efforts and sacrifice, but I wonder whether a commitment to a parade, with the resulting rehearsals and distraction from training, might be something the regiment might not wish to have put upon them.
In fact, it is a common misconception that soldiers are able to undertake such parades at the drop of a hat.
My partner's regiment was recently awarded the "Freedom" of their local town and the amount of work in preparing for such an event was significant.
Please do not misconstrue my comments for turning away such welcoming support for our Armed Forces, but I wonder whether there might be other ways that Royston could show its support?
Imagine the impact if every town in East Anglia wished to hold such a parade?
Additionally, why are we not recognising the Army Training Regiment at Bassingbourn?
My partner informs me that this base does a vital role in training recruits for the demands of front-line operational service and their crucial role is often overlooked.
The military staff and instructors at Bassingbourn come from across the Army and will have experience in all recent operations, not just Afghanistan.
Yes, lets support the Armed Forces, and well done Royston for wishing to show them such strong support, but we must consider the needs of the soliders, too.
Let them have some well earned rest, spend time with their families, rebuild their friendships and relationships and recover ready to meet future operational demands in service of our country.
Let's also not forget those soldiers locally who are living in our community, they deserve our strong support and recognition, too.