17 June 2012

Lorraine Kelly – What Armed Forces Day means to me on 30th June 2012

Lorraine Kelly – what Armed Forces Day means to me
Armed Forces Day is especially important to me as I feel very strongly that it is a chance for all of us to say a heartfelt thank to you our troops, and to let them know they are in our thoughts and that we truly value them.
I am fiercely proud to have been asked to be Honorary Colonel of the Black Watch Cadets and have seen first hand how this organisation can turn young lives around.
Thanks to the hard work and endless patience of our adult volunteers, teenagers that might have slipped through the net have the chance to realise their full potential.
Not all our cadets go on to join the Armed Forces, but every single one of them is a better, less selfish, more mature and responsible person thanks to the discipline, training and team spirit they gain from being part of such an underrated but vital organisation.
Thanks to my links with the cadets, I have been lucky enough to launch Armed Forces Day up in Scotland and have had a chance to be a bit of an action woman, being winched down from helicopters, completing assault courses and even driving a tank. It's not all been plain sailing. Clambering in and out of a Chieftain tank in high heels and a tight skirt can really only end in embarrassment, and last year I caused consternation when I was asked to let off a special One O'Clock gun on Calton Hill in Edinburgh. In my state of nervous excitement leading up to the countdown, I completely misheard and when FIVE was yelled, I thought it was FIRE, and so for the first time in history the gun was four seconds early! I will never forget the appalled look on the face of the Sergeant Major, and it just goes to show that you should never let a civilian anywhere near armaments!
This year, as always, there will be special events all over the country to mark Armed Forces Day, giving the public the chance to express their gratitude to all our men and women in the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force in this very special Diamond Jubilee Year, and I am very happy to be a part of those celebrations.

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