THIS year’s Armed Forces Days in Andover will be held over the weekend of 5 and 6 July, when we celebrate the military community within Hampshire.

The celebration has special significance in a year whichmarks so many military milestones.

We are about to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War, we have just paid tribute to the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and we expect to see, by the end of this year, British troops returning home from Afghanistan.

All of these conflicts have left a different legacy. It is a legacy which the Hampshire branch of SSAFA is proud to honour.

SSAFA was the only national military charity in Hampshire to have served our armed forces community throughout all of these wars.

Although we may be moving into a more peaceful period for our troops, the long-term impact of war will remain.

We have recently been reminded of our veterans who served at D-Day and are soon to be reminded of the lost generations of the First World War.

We don’t know how those who have served in more recent conflicts will cope as time goes on but we know they will need us as surely as those who fought in conflicts past.

Each year SSAFA Hampshire supports around 1,260 veterans of all ages, including those who fought in the Second World War, those who did national service and also their dependants.

But we are already seeing growing numbers of younger veterans coming forward with problems that are increasingly complex.

If you would like help from SSAFA or would like to volunteer to help our local military community you can contact SSAFA Hampshire at 023 8070 4978 or secretary@hampshire

Alick Brown, Awareness member, SSAFA Hampshire Branch Executive Committee