Veterans get Falklands medal and it’s about time...

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Just looking at the smiling faces of the men who formed the 1982 company of HMS Illustrious already tells you what you need to know.

They are happy, pleased, even thrilled to get their hands on a medal marking the vital work they carried out after the end of the Falklands conflict.

And although the hostilities had ended, there was still much work to do.

The ship, then new, was delivered three months ahead of schedule and headed down to the South Atlantic to relieve HMS Invincible.

Such was the hurry, she 
was even commissioned en route.

She and her company provided vital support in the immediate aftermath of the war providing much-needed guard duty around the islands and air assistance.

But because this happened after the conflict officially ended in June that year, Lusty’s crew were not eligible for the South Atlantic Medal given to veterans of the conflict.

That is until a change in the rules in December last year, hence this weekend’s ceremony and get-together.

To see these men with their medals, the pride they are 
feeling is obvious, and rightly so.

And many of them travelled long distances to enjoy a proper ceremony rather than just have it drop through the door.

These men earned the right for the medal and to see them gathered for a ceremony is only what they deserve.

As their old captain 
Admiral Sir Jock Slater says, they played a truly unique role in the conflict.

So it’s only fitting that this should be marked.

And it’s only a shame that there was a 33-year wait for 
the honour to be handed over.

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