Veterans on a fundraising motorbike Ride of Respect

Rider veterans visited Fife on their fundraising trip across the countryRider veterans visited Fife on their fundraising trip across the country
Rider veterans visited Fife on their fundraising trip across the country
A Scottish MSP has backed a veterans fundraising ‘Ride of Respect’ that visited important sites in Fife, Angus and Aberdeenshire on its way around the UK.

Last weekend, a four-man team of veterans Paul Moore, Charlie McColgan, Phill Damant and Tony McKie began a 2,500-mile, 16-day journey around more than 80 graves and memorials of the Falklands conflict.

The Ride of Respect has raised £12,000 in the last two years for the South Atlantic Medal Association (SAMA), which supports veterans and families of the fallen as the 40th anniversary of the conflict approaches next year.

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The veterans are completing this ride to personally highlight that as we approach that special anniversary of the Falklands War, that those who were lost are not forgotten. Not only do they plan to pay respects to the fallen, but also meet their families and raise awareness of where these heroes lie, whether it be in the UK, in the Falkland Islands or at sea in the South Atlantic Ocean.

North East Scotland Tory MSP Liam Kerr met the team and a Scots Guards representative at Laurencekirk cemetery before heading onward to Macduff.

Sunday’s visits included Kennoway in Fife, RM Condor at Arbroath in Angus, Spean Bridge and the Pennyfuir Cemetery on the outskirts of Oban.

Mr Kerr said: “SAMA do outstanding work with the community of ex-servicemen, families and relatives of those who lost their lives in the Falklands conflict.

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“This service is entirely volunteer-run and depends on donations.

“Some 255 British military personnel died in the liberation of the islands.

“It’s not just for them that we remember, but for the young families so many of them left behind to defend freedom on the other side of the world.”

SAMA continue to support veterans of the campaign and the families of the fallen through practical and emotional support, including assisting veterans to visit the Islands. These visits are a positive way for veterans to deal with mental health issues which may have been caused by their service during the Falklands War. Many veterans find that such visits help them individually, as they see how the Falkland Islands have flourished since they liberated them in 1982.