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National Armed Forces Day: A Time for Reflection

Rob Grimes has very kindly written the introduction to today’s post. As a photographer who serves in the armed forces, Rob gives an overview of what it means to him, accompanied by some of his photographs from Project Afghan.

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“For me the Armed Forces, (the Army in particular and the branch I joined, the Infantry – Rifles), was my goal in life; my dream as a young boy who watched and followed in the footsteps of my idol and father who also served for 22 years in the Armed Forces. From the moment I could speak I said it was my goal and aim to join the forces. Throughout my childhood through to adulthood, my goals never changed. I was determined, maybe stubborn, to join up and sign on that dotted line; to take my oath of allegiance and serve my country for as long as I could, and I did. To me it meant everything and it still does today, probably even more for what we do today.

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The years have gone quickly, flown by in fact, but I always said to myself during my time that if an opportunity presented itself, then I will take it. Within the Forces, there are always opportunities to travel; to do things civilians cannot do and to experience good and bad in many foreign fields.

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I have had the opportunity to serve abroad on operations ranging from Northern Ireland in the early 90′s, Bosnia in 96, Iraq in 2006-07, Kosovo in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2009 & 2012. I’ve been able to travel to France, Germany, Cyprus, Kenya (three times), Jordan and Dubai on overseas Military exercises. In addition I’ve been part of expeditions to Nepal (Himalayas), Peru (Inca Trail), skiing in France, diving in France, bungee jumping in Cyprus, and the list could go on and on.

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It all made me the man I am today; respectful, loyal, trustworthy, hardworking, kind and not just to those close to me like family but also to those I serve with, especially the younger generation just starting their careers in a time of conflict in Afghanistan. I’m there to guide, mentor and ensure their safety, so they can also have the opportunities that were presented to me and a long and rewarding career as I have done.

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I will look back after my time in the Armed Forces comes to an end, proud to have achieved everything that I have, along with the scars and medals to record my time in the Army.

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I am who I am today because of family, friends and my time in the forces. Without any of that, I wouldn’t be writing this today.”

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Rob Grimes Photography

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And now here are the contributions from the Click Collective, She Clicks and our Facebook public page for National Armed Forces Day:

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L to R: Jane Packard, Amanda Hayler (The Click Collective)

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Claire Penn (The Click Collective)

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Pam Hordon (The Click Collective)

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L to R: Lisa Dearnley-Davison, Helen Chatfield Rigby (The Click Collective)

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Rachel Baker (The Click Collective)

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Andrea Ellison (The Click Colective)

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Vicky Sudbury (The Click Collective)

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L to R: Samantha Pommells, Amanda Holl (The Click Collective)

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Rachel Baker (The Click Collective)

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Lucy Stendall (The Click Collective)

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Vicky Sudbury (The Click Collective)

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Victoria Phipps (The Click Collective)

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Laura Evans (She Clicks)

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L to R: Helen Yin, Isabelle Lafrance (She Clicks)

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Isabelle Lafrance (She Clicks)

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Kay Maguire (She Clicks)

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Kate Geikowski (She Clicks)

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Judi Checketts (Facebook Submission)

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Kerry Morgon-Shaw (Facebook Submission)

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L to R: Andrea Pittam, Janet Broughton (Facebook Submission)

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Andrea Pittam (Facebook Submission)

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Sara Hazeldine - June 30, 2012 - 9:58 am

Absolutely brilliant. Big thanks to Rob for his words and pictures, and to all today’s contributors x

Yaiza - June 30, 2012 - 10:14 am

Amazing captures!!! Congratulations.

Jane Packard - June 30, 2012 - 10:19 am

Love this post. Many thanks Rob for the introduction and to all those brave men and women past and present. X

Rob Grimes Photography - June 30, 2012 - 10:27 am

The post is amazing and I’m so proud to have been asked to be a part of this. Thank you also for all your kind words of support. Im buzzing!

Rob x

Boo - June 30, 2012 - 10:33 am

What a lovely post. Thanks to rob for your great contribution and Amanda Hayler for a fantastic presentation. Very moving.

Lucy Woodrow - June 30, 2012 - 10:43 am

I am so amazed by this post. I love it, so beautifully put together and with really stunning images… wow.

Kate - June 30, 2012 - 10:58 am

The words and images of Rob are so strong and full of feeling. The images that everyone has submitted are amazing, beautiful and so poignant x

Rachel Baker Photography - June 30, 2012 - 11:01 am

What a fabulous post…thank you Rob for your introduction….I am really proud of those brave men & women who fight to save our way of life! This post is for you…
THANK YOU

Andrea Ellison Photography - June 30, 2012 - 11:03 am

Rob…just wonderful words and images..I followed Project Afghan and am so thankful to you and all your comrades past and present for what you have done for us….some paying the ultimate price…the admiration I have for you all has no words x

Sue Daly - June 30, 2012 - 11:12 am

Amazing blog post and photos….. i think this is my favourite so far!

Isabelle - June 30, 2012 - 11:12 am

What a beautiful post! Rob’s intro along with his photos add so much meaning to the whole post, thanks to all the men and women out there xoxo

amanda - June 30, 2012 - 11:36 am

A big thank you to Rob Grimes for his words and images; and thank you to everyone for contributing your images. It was a pleasure putting this post together xxx

Photos by Zöe - June 30, 2012 - 12:09 pm

Gosh, what an amazing collaboration – thank you Rob, and everyone for sharing so much xx

Martin - June 30, 2012 - 12:15 pm

Fantastic, thought provoking images and heartfelt words from Rob. A great article. Utmost respect to all who have and who do serve our country.

Vicky Sudbury - June 30, 2012 - 7:31 pm

A truly moving post – such thought provoking.
A big thank you to Rob for the intro and his photo’s that give us all an insight into the life of the men and woman who risk their life everyday to preserve our way of life.

There are no words that can convey enough the gratitude we feel for the men and woman of the armed forces, both past and present, for what they have done and continue to do for this country, but to spare a thought for them and to remember them always is something that each and everyone can do and this blog beautifully conveys that.

Rob Grimes - July 1, 2012 - 8:45 am

Thank you to everyone for your moving comments and support xx

Sam Pommells - July 1, 2012 - 8:48 am

Definitely my fav post yet, so proud to be part of it. Totally moving. Xx

Colleen - July 3, 2012 - 12:54 am

What a beautiful post!!!!! love love love this post!!!!!

WENDY GRANT PHOTOGRAPHY - July 4, 2012 - 11:35 am

What an AMAZING, moving introduction and beautiful photos as always from Rob ~ complimented by some truly thought provoking images.

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