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Badge award salutes veterans' contribution
THEY bravely served their country on land, sea and in the air.
Now, 67 years after the Second World War, five veterans have been rewarded for their contribution.
The ex-service personnel were presented with the Armed Forces Veteran’s Badge in a ceremony at a care home in Abingdon.
The badge was introduced by the Ministry of Defence eight years ago as a way of raising the profile of veterans in the community.
The ceremony on Tuesday was attended by representatives of the Royal British Legion , current RAF servicemen and the veterans’ families.
It was organised by Chantelle Oswin, the activities manager at the Abingdon Court Care Home, whose 64 residents suffer from dementia-related conditions.
To do so she needed to find out the veterans’ full names, service numbers, dates of service and where they served.
She said: “Not a lot of people know about the Veteran’s Badge, which is why I did it.
“I like to do things that are personal and will mean a lot to the residents.
“It just makes them feel special and important, which they are. Everyone is different here.”
Four of the recipients live at the home, while the fifth was 80-year-old former RAF chief technician Paul Worrallo, from Abingdon, whose wife Stella lives at the home.
He said it was “absolutely brilliant” to receive the badge, which all ex-service personnel are entitled to apply for.
Mr Worrallo added: “Chantelle is incredible, it’s her that deserves a medal.”
Senior Aircraftman James Seifriss and Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Adam Saunders, from RAF Benson , attended the ceremony to pay respects to some of their predecessors.
SAC Seifriss said: “We feel privileged to have been able to attend this presentation, that honours the service of these veterans.
“It was a thoroughly rewarding experience being able to speak to them about their time serving in the armed forces, and I hope that our presence helped to make the ceremony something special for the veterans.”
They were also joined by members of the Abingdon Royal British Legion.
Branch chairman Tom Tucker, a former RAF corporal said: “It’s the veterans day, to honour the ones that actually served through hostilities throughout the war, wherever they were.
“It’s always an honour to receive congratulations for what we have done.
“I served in the RAF myself, and today I have had the honour of meeting one or two ex-RAF and two present members.”
The badge service is run by a division of the Ministry of Defence’s Service Personnel and Veterans Agency.
For more information contact the free veterans helpline on 0800 169 2277 or see veterans-uk.info