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Gdf observes annual “day for veterans”

- Commander in Chief commits $45M to complete veterans’ home
The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) for its 45th anniversary under the theme “Transforming for continued service” honoured and paid tribute to ex-army personnel and military officers with the observance of “Day for Veterans”.
The event was a wreath-laying ceremony on Friday, last, at the Veteran’s Monument, Base Camp Ayanganna. There was two minutes of silence followed by the wreath laying ceremony at the Veterans Monument, and then the inter faith prayers were recited by the respective religious leaders
In his remarks, GDF Chief-of-Staff, Commodore Gary Best said Veterans’ Day is in hounour of every man and woman who has ever wore the GDF and British volunteer force attire and serve the nation with courage and commitment. “This is a day when we celebrate those who served us and those who have guaranteed our territorial integrity.”

Commodore Best said that the Commander in Chief has approved $45M to have the veterans’ home finally completed, and as such the project will recommence shortly.
The Chief of Staff also disclosed that a Veterans’ Affairs Department has been commissioned to cater for the administrative needs of the past servicemen. “These projects were undertaken because we value you for the contribution you have made to the force….since we who are serving are living your legacy.”
“We are proud of our veterans and are fortunate to have you among us; we honour your commitment and sacrifice and above all your service. Thank you for serving.”  Chief-of-Staff, Commodore Gary Best said.
Retired Colonel, Randy Storm, said that the veteran community is appreciative of the Commander in Chief and the government for the$40M which was committed toward the completion of the veterans’ home.
Storm said that the veterans’ home should be a place for those who served the nation. He noted that in 15 years hence the veterans might triple the amount that is presently recorded. “We should address our minds to that and think now what we can do to assist them.”
He recommended that after years of honourable service, there should be a housing fund where funds are deducted from the salary, since after retirement a soldier should be able to purchase  a piece of land of even a house.
Colonel (Rtd) Carl Bernard Morgan, who not in the country, had a statement that was read on behalf the colonel, which stated that last year during his speech on Veterans’ Day he had indicated that in 2010 there would be a Wall of Memories to allow veterans to reminisce on the units in which they served.  Persons can visit the site and take a look at the emblems.
Morgan disclosed that there was much research to locate the emblems since after the floods of 2005 much of the memorabilia in the museum has either been destroyed or misplaced.
He stated the emblems are from 1965 to present and it is hoped that the GDF museum would be reopened and made more accessible to members of the public.