UK Surgeon Capt Rick Jolly was an active participant in the Falkland's conflict, which began 30 years ago today. He remains an unusual, if not unique, war hero as he was decorated by both the UK and Argentina, the enemy.
Captain Jolly, was in charge of the Field Hospital at Ajax Bay during the Falklands War. The lives of 580 British and Argentinian troops were saved at this hospital.
In 2007 Jolly criticised the UK military's stance on medical care for troops in Afghanistan, that is the lack of rescue helicopters. He argued that "the time taken to rescue injured troops from the battlefield is as critical today as it was during the South Atlantic campaign 25 years ago" His response followed the then current Surgeon General, Lt Gen Louis Lillywhite who had claimed that there was "no need to deploy extra helicopters to lift injured troops from the battlefield in Afghanistan"
In 2007 Jolly wrote of Lt Gen Louis Lillywhite, the Surgeon General,, "If we are going to be in Afghanistan for the long run, then the Surgeon General's apparent complacency over his lack of helicopters is baffling."He needs more 'lift and shift' capability to cope with the potential loads. He is on record as saying that the politicians have promised the resources required. If he takes his responsibilities seriously, then he should be asking them for more dedicated helicopters - now."
As the 30 year anniversary is marked in the UK, the Falkland's and Argentina we should remember such heroes as Capt JJolly. There were many more, on all sides. Too many that paid the ultimate price.
Today famous UK war hero Simon Weston has spoken of the Falkland conflict. Like Capt Jolly Simon received an OBE following his service in the Falkland.s In spite of suffering terrible injuries Simon still believes that the Falkland conflict was a right and just cause. He maintains that the Falkland Islanders must have the right to choose their governors. Simon is an inspiration and now often employed as a motivational speaker.
No matter what your feelings on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, the military and war in general, today should be about those who sacrificed so much and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog