Reserves Day is on Wednesday 21st June, in honour of the reservists who give up their spare time to serve in the Forces. Reservists make up approximately 1/6 of Armed Forces personnel, and are essential for supporting military operations across the world. As well as reservists, Saturday 24th June marks Armed Forces Day, and aims to celebrate the wider armed forces community, including cadets, Service families and veterans.
With these two important occasions approaching, we want to show our support and appreciation for everyone at Devon Air Ambulance, from volunteers to aircrew and staff, who has served in the Reserve Forces and Armed Forces and helped to keep us safe in the UK and overseas. Their dedication to both serving their country and supporting our charity is truly inspiring.
Captain Ross White has been a pilot at DAA for 1 year, after previously serving in the Royal Navy. In addition, he is currently a member of the Royal Naval Reserve Air Branch. We spoke to Ross to find out more about his time in the armed forces:
“I served in the Royal Navy for 13 years, from May 2002 – May 2015, ultimately reaching the rank of Lieutenant. I was awarded two medals for my service: the Iraq Medal (for my service in Operation Telic) and the Queen’s Jubilee medal. After leaving the Royal Navy as a regular, I applied to become a pilot at Devon Air Ambulance, and (luckily!) I was chosen to become a member of the team. I wanted to continue to support the Royal Navy, and so around two years ago I joined the Royal Naval Reserve Air Branch- I’ve been a reservist since.”
So, how can you celebrate these occasions and show your appreciation for the armed forces and reservists? There’s plenty of ways to get involved! One of the easiest ways is to attend an event- this year, events are being held in several locations across Devon.
If there isn’t an event in your area, or you’d like to do something different, why not organise your own? It doesn’t matter if you organise something big or small, invite the whole local community or just friends and family; the important thing is to show your support! If you’re stuck for ideas, how about a picnic or BBQ; a house party or street party; a local walk, run, or bike ride; a cooking or baking challenge; or anything else that takes your fancy! The choice is yours- there’s plenty of ways to celebrate and have fun!
This year we’re also asking our supporters to #SaluteOurForces, in honour of the brave men and women who work to keep us safe in the UK and across the rest of the world too. Simply take a photo or video of yourself demonstrating your best salute, and share it for the world to see.
This is also the perfect opportunity to express gratitude to all of our hardworking volunteers and staff, with or without a military background, who dedicate their time and effort to help people who have suffered accidents across Devon. Thanks to their service, people in need of urgent medical support can be reached and flown to hospital, when this wouldn’t always be possible or quick enough by road. Just as the Armed Forces and Reservists protect us across the world, our staff and volunteers support people in need across Devon.