Littleport veteran leads protest outside Houses of Parliament
PUBLISHED: 15:35 29 April 2013 | UPDATED: 15:35 29 April 2013
A FORMER soldier from Littleport led a protest by armed forces veterans outside the Houses of Parliament over what he describes as the government's "ongoing neglect" of those no longer in service.
Vince Campbell joined 40 other ex-service personal on Palace Green, in London, last Monday to call for better treatment of those who have left the forces, including access to housing, medical treatment and re-training.
He said that while the turnout had been disappointing, he was satisfied with progress made after talks with officials from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and MP Patrick Mercer, himself a former soldier.
He said: “It was a disappointing turnout because we had hoped to get thousands to attend but a lot of people couldn’t attend because of the cost of getting down to London and also because of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.
“Despite that, we had some meetings with officials from the MoD and with Patrick Mercer, who said he would take up our case with Mark Francois, the Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans.
“There has been a lot of legislation and policy passed in the last few months, hopefully because of the work we have been doing, that has been very positive for veterans.
“It is a good start but there is still a long way to go and lots of things that need to be put right. We have more rallies planned across the UK and we want to get as many people involved as we can.
“Our veterans must stop venting their frustrations on Facebook, logging off and going to bed. We have got to be heard and seen to be heard. Charity is great but we shouldn’t have to shake tins begging for support.”
Mr Campbell joined the Scots Guards in 1981 and served on operations around the globe up until 1995, when he decided to leave.
It was when he contacted the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to try and arrange his pension that he first encountered problems, with Mr Campbell saying that civil servants at first denied he had even served.
After hearing many similar cases among ex-service personal, Mr Campbell decided to set up Veterans in Need and has been campaigning for homes, pensions and proper healthcare for veterans ever since.
INFO: You can get in touch with Mr Campbell and Veterans in Need via Facebook or contact the Ely Standard.