RAF News 17 Dec 2021 Christmas edition 1526

Page 13

Royal Air Force News Friday. December 17. 2021 P13

Dogged-duo hit the road DOGGED FUNDRAISERS are to James Conroy on what they call "Inc tour places with the oowdiest names Dumb & Dwnber Rude Trip: •we will travel the length of the in Britain in the New Year to help UK in a carpel-covered 'dog' car, veterans with combat stress. Retired Sqn Ldr Lawson Smith ticking off bawdy place names and and ex-RAF Regiment FS Jack are hoping to raise £10,000," said Harmer will don Fido-like fancy Lawson. dress before setting off in their Proceeds (rom the New Year customised canine-themed car in charity drive will help train rescue K aid of Service Dogs U. dogs for ex-Service personnel The pair, with 52 years' service struggling with PTSD. betwec11 them, will be joined by their • Go to: justgivi11g.com/ professional d<>g behaviourist chw11 fu1,draisi11g/d1arityrudetrip

News

Covid crisis calls peak A VETERANS'telephonefriendship service set up to combat loneliness has received more than 120,000 calls since it was launched al the start of the Co,1d pandemic, Forces charity chiefs say. The Royal Air Forces Association's Connections for Ufe project aims to pair up vo.lunteers with veterans and makes nearly 7,000 calls a month, according 10 the welfare group. Rory O'Connor, the association's director of welfare and policy, said:

"For many older members of the RAF community, our voice would be the onli• one they<! hear that day. Tragically, for some, wea be the only human co,uact they<! have that week. "With this in mind, we pulled out all the stops IO ensure that we provided regular phone calls lo as many people who wanted 10 talk with us. Our volunteers and those they call have been able to build rewarding. long-lasting friendships."

In Brief

WRITE STUFPJ Competition winner Darcy

Fairytale Christmas for Darcy

The longest-serving Puma entered service on January 29, l97 l and has flown combat TWO ICONIC RAF helicopters marJ<ed and humanitarian operations around the world, including Northern lrcland. 90 years of combined service with a flight over central London. Bosnia. Kosovo, Iraq, Afghunistan, The Chinook and Puma also Mo,.arnbique and the Caribbean. In the UK it pn>,•ided securiiy visited the south coast. taking in The Needles on the Isle of for the Olympic Games in London nnd supported the Wight and nearby Portsmouth. The aircmft tlew for the Scottish Ambulwce Service coronavirus first time together in formation the during displaying their bespoke pandemic. attniversary tail art with Benson� Tb� Chinook, arrived ill RAF b,1sed Puma XW224 celebr-1, .ting MERCY M1SS10N: 1 Tri,',. Tl service on November 22, 1980 and throughout its 40 years of SO years of service, while service has operated in every major conflict Chinook ZD984, from Odiham, has clocked up 40. since the Falklands War in 1982, including lite­ Both helicoplers have operated as pu-1 of the s..·wing medkaJ evacuations. 111e helicopters /<>int Helicopter Command for more than 20 years. are expected l'O relurn to their standard

CHRISTMAS HAS come early for young autbor Darcy Thorp, who has scooped a publishing deal for her Forces festive fairytale. The eight-year,old, whose dad serves 1vith the RAF Regiment, wrote her beartwar.ming story Evie's Christmas 10 help children cope with being separated from their parents over the festive season. Her story won the Little Troopers writing competition and is now being professionally iflustrated and published. Childreris author and competition judge Donna David said: "We had so many wonderful entries but Darcy's story captured the emotions that many Li1tle Troopers experience when a pa.rent is away from home. "She showed us ho1v important ii is to keep in touch and we could all relate to the significance of sending a11d receiving letters. I love a positive tale and D-.trcy's story, with the Christmas setting. is the perfect happy ending." �

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HEAVYLIPT: 1 �, 11. k l , I 1 ,\' ,, ,1'1 ' ,•

opcmtional markings earl)' next year. Chinook Force Commander Gp Capt Donal McGurk said: •r-or a combined 90 years, the Chinook and Puma have played a vital role in the UK's defence capabilit)', supporting our people al home and overseas."