I felt compelled to write this post off the back of a facestalker update that my little sister just posted:
Abi wants to thank all of my dearest friends & family who have got us through the last 178 sleeps, we couldn’t have done it without your support. 1 more sleep left and it’s all over. Also wanted to send big love to the beautiful Mrs P who paid the ultimate price for us all, I know Mr P will be watching over you so proudly. Megs I am sure your Daddy will be beaming down laughing his socks off at the thought of you staying silent for 5 hours in a few days. ♥ ♥ xxx
My sis has always been resilient, she’s the sort of girl who has never been shy of wearing her heart on her sleeve, facing life’s up and downs, putting her head down and ignoring any really nasty stuff, and bouncing back time and time and time again. A few years ago she married her husband who serves with 1 Rifles and a couple years ago they had their daughter. Last year, my sister’s next door neighbour was killed while on patrol in Afghanistan. This year 1 Rifles have lost five men on their tour in Afghan, one of whom was Cpl Mark Palin and another was L/Cpl Jon McKinlay, my cousin’s former husband and Dad to her two children.
I know many people feel that soldiers pick their career, train for their job and choose to take the risk of going into combat. Likewise if you marry a soldier you can pretty much expect to share these risks – you know what you’re letting yourself in for. That said I have nothing but admiration for those who choose to work in the Armed Forces, and those who choose to share their lives with them. My little sister *seriously* impresses me with her resilience, fortitude, wit and attitude.
Megan and Ollie, Jon’s two children have also blown me away with their determination to do some good for other people. On Sunday, on what would have been their Dad’s birthday they are doing a five hour sponsored silence to raise money for the 1 Rifles Swift and Bold appeal. This appeal provides support to people in the immediate days and hours after their loved ones are killed or injured. Megs and Ollie set themselves a ridiculously ambitious target of £1250 and this week they smashed it. I’d like to thank those of you who have donated to them and shown your support.
To all of those serving with 1 Rifles and to their family and friends back at base, thank you.