I joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1974 at the age of 16½ and served for 26½ years on eleven different bases; including overseas in the Netherlands, Germany and Ascension Island. I was also privileged to do short term deployments to Hong Kong, Denmark, Sardinia, Norway, Belgium, Cyprus, USA (Alaska) and Saudi Arabia (first Gulf War).
After completion of basic and professional training, I was posted to RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. On the first Sunday after the morning service the chaplain’s assistant invited me to a meeting that afternoon and to this day, I’m extremely thankful that I accepted - that was my introduction to SASRA in the home of the late ASR Derek and Heather Brooks, and so began my long association with SASRA.
About a year later ASR Bob & Barbara Hodson arrived and they soon took me under their wing and we formed a strong friendship that lasts to this day. Another SASRA couple that came into my service life early on were ASR Brian & Janet Henagulph, with whom I’ve also formed a solid friendship that lasts to this day.
SASRA has become like a second family to me and throughout my RAF career was a great encouragement to me in numerous ways. This was especially important during my early service as a young Christian. Miss Helen Black at SASRA HQ was always very helpful and wherever I served helped me to find Christian fellowship.
Along the way of various postings I was also blessed by ASR David and Joan Gibson and ASR Ivor and May Sherwood.
I retired from the RAF twelve years early (2001), as I felt the call of God into the full-time ministry of SASRA as their Area Representative for South West England and South Wales and so in a way the full circle has been completed, as I now strive to encourage both Service and potential Service personnel. I’ve now been associated with SASRA for more than forty years - it is indeed a great privilege to serve our wonderful God and there will be much rejoicing in heaven one day when all the SASRA family finally arrive home.
Ephesians 1:3-14; 1 Peter 1:3-25.