Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Welcome home

The Royal Air Force squadrons of Chinook helicopters are based at Odiham. At any one time, a few hundred of the men and women in these squadrons are based overseas, most notably in Afghanistan. Conditions there are tougher than most people can imagine; often they are extremely dangerous. This is implicitly recognised in news programs. So often when you see footage of the war, it's of helicopter pilots dropping off soldiers or collecting the wounded while being fired at. I've met a few of these men and women and they are uniquely courteous, professional and cheerful.

In June last year, Odiham invited the RAF to parade through the village. It was a mostly sunny day, and a happy one. I think many who attended were surprised at how uplifting an occasion it was. Plenty of the servicemen and women were smiling as they marched along. Certainly all of the public were.

They will be parading through again on the morning of Saturday 13th June. If you live nearby, come along and welcome them home!

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