At the meeting of Ellon Probus on May 10, President Alistair Sinclair welcomed Lieut Col (rtd) Iain Ballantyne as speaker of the day. Ian, a Kirkcaldy man of 34 years military service (1964-97) described to members the work done by the Scottish Veterans Association.
From his military experience in Malaysia, Kenya, Falklands and Afghanistan with 45 Commando, Iain described the harrowing mental and physical trauma experienced by frontline servicemen and women. The trauma, however, does not necessarily stop at the front line or after their service time but may linger on for years in the form of post traumatic stress, flashbacks and long-term mental illness.
The Scottish Veterans Assoc was created in 2002 to serve as a single conduit to look after service personnel and to provide them with help and advice on how to cope with a civilian life-style. The Association provides a limited number of accommodation units but these are dwarfed by demand. With the continual frontline engagement of UK military personnel it is unlikely that the role played by the SVA will diminish.
The vote of thanks was given by Bill Reed.
The next meeting is on May 24, when Alan Barker will talk on The Victoria Cross.