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Veterans' Day 2008 (by Robert Millar)
Over 100 Veterans of different age groups paraded alongside Units of Paderborn Garrison at an open air church service in Antwerp Barracks, Sennelager, Germany to celebrate Veteran’s Day on the 28th June 2008. The service was conducted by the Reverend David Moss, 20 Armoured Brigade’s Senior Chaplin and the Reverend Paddy Cable, Paderborn Garrison Community Chaplain in the presence of Major General RAMS Melvin OBE, General Officer Commanding United Kingdom Support Command (Germany). The Royal British Legion Pipe Band led the march on and off the Parade. Veterans Day in Paderborn was initiated by Brigadier Thomas Beckett, President of the Paderborn Branch and Commander of 20 Armoured Brigade and Paderborn Garrison. Its purpose was for serving soldiers to meet those who had served before them, recognising their past service in uniform and continuing service as volunteers within the service community. The day also marked the 100th Anniversary of the TA. The Brigade was originally formed from TA Units and commands the 412 (V) Troop Royal Engineers, the only TA Unit within Germany. This was the first time that a formal marking of Veterans Day had been undertaken on such a large scale in Germany. Robert Millar, Secretary of the Paderborn Branch assisted in publicising the event and coordinating invitations. Veteran’s badges were presented to Mrs Kim Beeton and Mr Patrick O’Connor- Close by General Melvin. Patrick, the oldest member of the Paderborn Branch was deployed to Germany as a member of the Royal Engineers in 1945 and finished his service with the Royal Irish Fusiliers. After the service, veterans were invited to a buffet lunch in the NATO Officer’s Mess followed by a Forum in the Leicester Model Room, Normandy Barracks, hosted by General Melvin. The Forum was designed to give feed back as a basis for a study into veteran’s issues within Germany. Veterans were finally given a chance to see modern and past equipment on display from serving soldiers of British Forces Germany before going to the Paderborn Branch for a social gathering during which Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) David Wilkinson, District of Germany President spoke to those present and handed the Noel Roger Runners Up Certificate to Jim Griffiths MBE, Chairman. General Melvin said that this would be an annual event in Germany and that the intention is for more forums to be conducted creating a two way dialogue as part of a study into veterans’ issues. More images from the presentation. Go Back
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