RAF medic from Ipswich says Iraq and Afghanistan memorial invite is an ‘huge honour’
- Credit: Archant
An RAF medic from Ipswich says he is ‘immensely honoured’ to be invited to the unveiling of the Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial in London tomorrow.
Ian Ewers-Larose, 49, who served in both the Falklands and the first Gulf War, was invited through the Royal British Legion (RBL) to the service of dedication at the Victoria Embankment Gardens in Westminster, where the Queen will unveil the new memorial.
Mr Ewers-Larose said it was important that those who served in the Middle East were recognised for what they have done for their country.
He said: “I will have a few hats on, I’ll be representing the RBL, myself and my fellow servicemen and women.
“I’ll be there wearing my Gulf War medal but I was just a little part in a big team.
“The wars in the Middle East are a part of our history, a huge part of our lives over the last 25 years.
“Whereas the Cenotaph is there to remember those who fell in the first and second world wars and is a fantastic memorial, I think it is right to have a memorial for this period of time but also one that represents everyone.
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“I think it is good to have a place for people to reflect, to remind people what happened and for those families who lost somebody to visit and remember them.
“I was immensely honoured to be invited.”
Mr Ewers-Larose has decided to take his mum Jenny to the event.
The memorial, made up of two stone monoliths supporting a bronze medallion, recognises the bravery of the servicemen and women who were deployed from 1990 to 2015. It also recognises the vast number of non-military people involved - those from charities, aid organisations and humanitarian projects.
Mr Ewers-Larose is a staunch supporter of the RBL who were a ‘lifeline’ to him after he was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after serving as part of Operation Granby in Iraq.
The condition, which affects his joints and muscles, has left him with limited mobility and a deteriorated immune system.
When he couldn’t cover the cost of new carpets in his bungalow, which had become a tripping hazard, the RBL, alongside the RAF benevolent fund, stepped in to cover the costs. The RBL also pitched in for logs to help heat his home, as the cold seriously affects his condition, and to repair a broken chimney.