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Younger generation and veterans alike praise Armed Forces Day

PUBLISHED: 18:04 24 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:21 28 June 2017

Senior aircraft technician with the Royal Air Force, Elliot Sheppard in his privately owned army Land Drover. Photo: Lucy Begbie

Senior aircraft technician with the Royal Air Force, Elliot Sheppard in his privately owned army Land Drover. Photo: Lucy Begbie

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A new generation of recruits are speaking out on Armed Forces Day in support of the men and women who have served their country.

Detachment Commander of Norfolk Army Cadet Force with Diss branch of Army Cadet Force. Photo: Lucy Begbie Detachment Commander of Norfolk Army Cadet Force with Diss branch of Army Cadet Force. Photo: Lucy Begbie

Diss Market Place was awash on Saturday with army vehicles, stalls and memorabilia showcasing the work of the armed forces.

Represented were the District British Legion, The Army Cadet Force, The Royal Air Force Cadets and the Royal Air Force.

Veterans and recruits visiting were unanimous in their support for the day saying it was a chance to show the public what the military do.

Elliot Sheppard, senior aircraft technician in training with The Royal Air Force said: “ There is a lot of negativity in the press.

David Hines with war memorabilia and his wife Julie's Austin 10 car. Photo: Lucy Begbie David Hines with war memorabilia and his wife Julie's Austin 10 car. Photo: Lucy Begbie

“It’s good to get the public to interact with the military and get rid of any stigma.”

The twenty-year-old from Diss says his interest in the armed forces began aged fifteen when he was a volunteer at Norfolk Tank Museum in Long Stratton.

Seventeen-year-old Josh Wyatt has been with the Army Cadet Force since he was thirteen and is now looking for a job with the armed forces.

He said: “Being a cadet has given me a lot of confidence. I am now able to stand up and talk in front of people.

Darren Stride, a member of the British Legion,  has been collecting memorabilia from the Home Front and the Norfolk Regiment since he was four years old. Photo:Lucy Begbie Darren Stride, a member of the British Legion, has been collecting memorabilia from the Home Front and the Norfolk Regiment since he was four years old. Photo:Lucy Begbie

“I was interested in joining the army anyway and I will be looking for a career in reconnaissance with the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards.”

Lliam Wells who heads up the Diss Army Cadet Force joined the cadets when he was thirteen and went on to have a military career for twenty five years.

He says leading the cadets has been his chance to put something back into the organisation that got him into the army.

“The cadets gives children the chance to get away from mundane life and gives them the environment to train and develop themselves,” he said.

Darren Stride chats to visitors at his stall about his collection of memorabilia from the Home Front and the Norfolk Regiment. Photo: Lucy Begbie Darren Stride chats to visitors at his stall about his collection of memorabilia from the Home Front and the Norfolk Regiment. Photo: Lucy Begbie

Visitor and former Private, Jim Root of the Suffolk Regiment said:

“My father lasted the war, but he went in at 18 stone and came out 7 stone.

“This day is important to make people remember and think. I still wear my father’s medals.”

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