Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr Caroline Smith has raised the flag at the council’s Shute End office to commemorate Armed Forces Day (25 June 2022), paying respect to servicemen and women, past and present.
The raising of the flag is an annual, national event celebrated on the last Saturday in June, observed by local authorities, government departments, businesses and Number 10 Downing Street, to show support and pay respect to the UK Armed Forces.
The event was also attended by leader of the council Cllr Clive Jones, armed forces champion Cllr Andy Croy, Cllr Chris Johnson and Cllr Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey.
Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr Caroline Smith said: “I am delighted to take part in this national celebration by raising the flag to show our support for the admirable people who make up our Armed Forces communities including serving troops, reservists, cadets, veterans, former service personnel and not forgetting, the brave people who lost their lives to keep us safe. We have a lot to be thankful for and by flying the flag, we are proudly showing our support and gratitude.
“On behalf of Wokingham Borough Council, I would like to thank you all for your outstanding service and dedication in protecting and defending our country and its interests. We salute you.”
Armed forces champion Cllr Andy Croy served in the territorial army for five years and said: “It is an honour to be the council’s new armed forces champion. There are around 1,000 serving Armed Forces personnel and veterans living in Wokingham Borough and we will work hard to ensure they are treated equally and respectfully. By taking part in this national flag raising event, we are remembering and recognising the sacrifices this remarkable community have made.”
Cllr Chris Johnson is a veteran who joined the Royal Air Forces (RAF) in 1973. He served in the RAF’s Tactical Communication Wing based at the UK’s largest military air base, RAF Brize Norton. His first tour included providing secure communication facilities during the Falklands War onboard the SS Canberra.
After twenty-five years’ service, Cllr Johnson was invalided from the RAF as a disabled war veteran. He has been awarded the South Atlantic Medal with Rosette and the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal plus two Air Officer Commanding certificates of commendation for inventions.
Cllr Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey served in the American Air Force Reserves for three years plus one year active duty in the United States Air Force (USAF).
Salute our forces
Residents wanting to show their support can watch ‘how to salute’ videos available on the Official Armed Forces Day website. Learn how the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force salute and get involved on social media by using hashtag #SaluteOurForces. #SaluteOurForces is a simple, yet effective way to pay tribute to the UK Armed Forces for their hard work, dedication and efforts to keep us safe in the UK and across the globe.
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