Article 13046 | Island Views
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British Caribbeans Fought For Queen And Country

There are many unsung heroes that live amoung us and who are in our daily lives, however many are unknown and uncelebrated.

These heroes conduct themselves with a quiet unassuming dignity and a private discipline, that stems from their military training and a certain mentality military service has given them.

Within many homes there are families and family members who do not even know that a uncle, an aunt, or a close relative has surved ‘Queen and Country’ and in some cases a family history where their family once served ‘King and Country’.

This missing knowledge has a huge impact on families and children, who previously thought that they had no real connection to the previous world conflicts and wars. Once family members learn about one of their relatives serving in the armed forces, it bestows a sense of pride and belonging, which shows them that they should never be taunted by anyone or overshadowed by anyone who might tout their families contributions to society.

The importance of this knowledge cannot be underestimated because it gives great confidence to children and adults alike.

In my own family, my uncle Philip Brade who was born in Montserrat (In the Caribbean) served in the British military. What is amazing is that many of the family members never mentioned anything about his service or simply did not know. It was not until much later in my life that I discovered more about his military service and I could not believe what I discovered. During my uncle Philip’s military service he received three medals as follows:

* United Nations Medal 1969.

* General Service Medal 1970 and again ‘With a bar’ 1972.

* Veterans Medal 2004.

He left the army after 9 years with ‘Exemplary’ service, the highest possible statement.

This got me thinking, why was his sacrifice like so many of the other veterans sacrifices not common knowledge within their own families, or even within their own communities that they have lived and served?

Could you or I have been so brave as these veterans? Could we have adjusted to a normal civilian life after serving in the armed forces?

Many veterans do not cope and do not manage to fit back into society, with tragic and often fatal consequences, such as:

* Homelessness

* Mental illness

* Depression

* Suicide

To recognise these veterans within our families, communities and societies would be the right and befitting thing to do.

Many of us in society have  benefited from these veterans service to this country.

It is time to show our support.


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See other articles in this series:

Philip Brade’s exemplary innings and legacy



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