Armed Forces Day push in Carrick

MILITARY personnel could see their services commemorated in Girvan as momentum increases to mark Armed Forces Day in the town.

Concern over the lack of events held locally has caused one elderly veteran to call for action on Armed Forces Day for the communities between Ayr and Stranraer.

Robert Sweeney, 80, of 49 Hamilton Street, said he has been disappointed by the lack of events held locally for a number of years – and 2012 was no exception.

“I believe that the freedom we have in this country today is due to the sacrifices made by our armed forces,” said Mr Sweeney, who served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in Libya and Suez during the early 1950s.

“I doubt there are many people in Girvan who know what it is like to wonder whether the person in front of you is going to shoot you, or whether you are going to be blown up.

“These people take an oath that is on their last will and testament. You do not take that lightly.”

He said he believes the Carrick community would welcome the chance to show their support without having to travel elsewhere.

“I think the people in Girvan, like the people in Ayr, Stranraer, and anywhere, would like the opportunity to do something because people do appreciate the sacrifices the armed forces make.

“While our councillors do a great job, I don’t think the people of Girvan really need a person to go to a parade in 
Ayr to represent them. They 
are quite capable of repres­enting themselves given the opportunity.”

Mr Sweeney is supported in his “call to arms” by Girvan and South Carrick councillor Alec Clark, who is confident that community and youth groups would be eager to get involved.

He said: “I would certainly like to see something done locally and I am sure that with the support of various community organisations some­thing can be achieved on a worthwhile scale in Girvan.

“It is not something that one person can do, but it is something that a number of groups can get together and make happen. The services are a pride to Britain.”

Mr Sweeney said he would be “delighted” to see tributes in Girvan take shape, and would like to see a flag-raising ceremony with which the town’s schoolchildren could be involved.

“We have got so many committees in Girvan so they need to be able to bang their heads together and do something,” he said. “But how much further it goes I just don’t know.”