Support 40 Cdo Royal Marines in Afghanistan

I have had several members ask me of my connection with the Royal Marines. I am passionate about supporting our Service Men and Women in the job they do, and particularly in their recent and future deployments in Afghanistan.

In 1982 I lost an ex-boyfriend in the Falklands War. He was a Royal Marine helicopter pilot with 3 Brigade Air Squadron (3BAS) and the Royal Marine family are still in touch with me, and me with them, after 30 years.

I have been one of Those Who Wait.

I understand how it feels to have someone fighting in foreign lands and the anxiety and stress that causes. I understand how hard it can be to concentrate on the routine of home and work life in the UK when your Loved One is away from home. I understand how that can sometimes make you feel as if your life isn't as important or useful. It is. And all the more so because that is what your Loved One is holding onto, looking forward to seeing again, fighting for.

I also understand how it feels to lose someone and the agony and devastation that causes. The pain of losing someone suddenly and violently never goes, but it gets easier as you find different ways to cope with it. It's okay to be sad or angry, but it's also okay to laugh or smile at memories, photographs, home movies or dits (and we've all got some of those!).

And I understand how it feels to have a Loved One or a friend return who doesn't immediately talk about what they have experienced, or express how they feel, but who subtly changes - maybe becomes more withdrawn, maybe more irritable, maybe prone to sudden anger or outbursts, maybe more tearful, maybe more distant and distracted - someone who cannot easily bear the pain of what they have seen, what they have witnessed, what they have been a part of. They need understanding and patience, not being judged; they need love and loyalty and staying power, not to be shunned because one becomes frightened of something they don't understand. We owe it to them to become educated, more tolerant, less judgmental, more forgiving. We owe them everything because sometimes they give everything.

If any of the members of this group want to talk to someone who has been there, someone who will understand or someone who will listen and be there for them, please feel free to message me direct - I would consider it an honour to be there for any one of the Royal Marines Family. They do and give so much in our name, it's the very least I can do in return.

Anne x

Roll of Honour - Herrick 12
– Christopher Harrison (26) from Watford, Herts – 9th May 10
– Stephen Walker (42) from Lisburn, Co Antrim – 21st May 10
– Stephen Curley (26) from Dewsbury, W Yorks – 26th May 10
– Scott Taylor (21) from Buxton, Derbyshire – 30th May 10
– Anthony Hotine (21) from Torquay, Devon – 2nd Jun 10
– Steven Birdsall (20) from Warrington, Cheshire – 14th Jun 10
– Richard Hollington (23) from Petersfield, Hants – 20th Jun 10
– Paul Warren (23) from Preston, Lancs – 21st Jun 10
– Michael Taylor (30) from Rhyl, Clwyd – 22nd Jun 10
– Steven Darbyshire (35) from Wigan, Gt Man – 23rd Jun 10
– Seth Stephens – 1st Jul 10
– David Hart (23) Upper Poppleton, N Yorks – 8th Jul 10
– Matthew Harrison (23) from Hemel Hempstead, Herts– 13th Jul 10
– Jonathan Crookes (26) from Halesowen, W Mids – 16th Jul 10
– Adam Brown (25) from Yateley, Hants – 1st Aug 10
We owe them so much, and our gratitude will never be enough;
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We Will Remember Them xx