‘I sincerely hope the Afghan people can find a way to live free from tyranny’: Military veteran writes emotional post for Scottish charity after the Taliban takes Afghanistan
Horseback UK, a Scotland based charity offer the chance for ex service people to spend time in a farm with horses in rural Aberdeenshire.
The charity told The Scotsman that even since the news of the Taliban taking Afghanistan broke, they have seen an increase in veterans contacting them, ones who were struggling to come to terms with the situation.
Jay Hare, a veteran who now runs courses with the charity sustained life-changing injuries while on tour in Afghanistan and wrote a piece for them on how the news has affected him.
He wrote: “Well, I kind of don’t really know what to say. I’ll admit it does play heavily on my mind. The echoes of a former life are currently triggered and are flying back at me.
"A well-respected commanding officer of 45 Commando RM a few years ago addressed his Commando Unit on the beaches of Arbroath, prior to one of its latter deployments.
"One I unfortunately couldn’t join in with.
"He said, as we stood at ease, in ranks of three, shoulder to shoulder, “It is about Afghans, before it is about anyone else, ourselves included”.
As the Taliban entered Kabul this week, thousands of Afghans fled the area leading to calls for countries to open their borders to refugees in the face of this crisis.
Jay continued: “Be first to understand; the first to adapt and respond; and the first to overcome” is the Royal Marines Commando ethos, in which I still believe, and use in my daily life to this day.
"The current news from Afghanistan is a shock to those who served there, but not necessarily a surprise.
“Did we make a difference?
“Yes, I believe we did for the short time and for the majority of therein.
"In many areas we brought stabilisation, infrastructure, safety, education, medical facilities and an environment safer to live, grow and be brought up in, in those two decades.”
Jay added: “457 service personnel lost their lives: we will remember, we will forever be proud of them, we will forever love them and hold them close in our hearts.
“Do I feel sadness?
“Of course, I’m human. But we did our job to the very best of our abilities.
“But most importantly we did our duty. What more was asked for? That is what was given, above and beyond in nearly all situations. Our best.
" sincerely hope the Afghan people can find a way to live free from tyranny, oppression, hostilities and fear and to live life in peace.
"For the majority are indeed peaceful people, who just wish to live their lives and watch their offspring grow, happy and content in their way of life.
He concluded by reiterating his commitment to his work with the charity which supports many who find it difficult returning to civilian life.
"Maybe I’m naive, a dreamer - call me what you will.
“But we must support those who need our help, those struggling, those who need a helping hand.
"That’s who we can help.
"They gave their best, and we are still at their shoulder and still behind them throughout and forever.”
Both the charity, Horseback UK and Jay gave the paper their permission to use Jay’s words and picture.
To learn more about Horseback UK, click here.
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