Suffolk: Homecoming “means so much to the forces”

NEXT month’s homecoming parade through Ipswich will mean so much to the troops who have spent the last six months in Afghanistan.

That was the verdict of one of the most senior servicemen currently serving in Suffolk as the county’s local authorities came together to sign a new military covenant.

Group Captain Andrew Hall is commanding officer of RAF Honington, and was speaking during the signing ceremony of the Suffolk Community Covenant with the armed forces at Endeavour House in Ipswich yesterday.

The covenant commits the authorities to support serving personnel, their families, and veterans and to work with them to make life as easy as possible for those in the military.

Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk Lord Tollemache said there were 120,000 people in the county with links to the military – currently serving, with family members serving, or service veterans.

Gp Capt Hall said service personnel and their families would welcome the signing of the covenant: “It is hugely important.

“With our role in life it is important that we feel that the country and our own communities are behind us and supporting our work.”

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The homecoming parade for 1st Battalion the Royal Anglians next month would be very important for the troops involved.

Gp Capt Hall said: “Homecoming parades are very important – it is the opportunity for the communities to show the troops how much they appreciate what they have done.”

He added: “The memory of the parades is also very important to them – they will carry the memory of these parades with them when they are next sent to serve abroad in difficult conditions.

“It is a great help to the troops in those situations – they don’t forget them.”

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