Forward Assist UK-US Veterans Exchange 2014
Following on from last year’s successful Veterans Exchange Programme initiated by Tony Wright, CEO of Forward Assist, which saw six veterans from the UK visit the State of Arkansas in October 2013. (See News & Event Section for more information)
Forward Assist was delighted to host the second Veterans Exchange visit to Newcastle upon Tyne during May 2014. A team of six (Four Veterans) travelled independently to the UK to be part of the programme and met with veterans of all ages sharing best practice, particularly their experiences of dealing with PTSD and knowledge of the US Criminal Justice System/ Veterans Treatment Courts. Mayor Vernon Dollar from Rison in Arkansas led the team and met with Dave Anderson MP to advise on matters relating to our further establishing links with the USA to improve services for Veterans in the UK. The US contingent were matched up with UK veterans of similar age as part of our Citizen Diplomat initiative and taken to cities such as York, Edinburgh and London. Similarly sight-seeing trips along the Northumberland Coast and Hadrian’s Wall proved very popular as did the unique experience of visiting Beamish Museum and the thrill of eating a three course meal in a private room in Lumley Castle (Durham.) Plans are already underway to take another group of UK veteran to the USA in May 2015.
The group are pictured with the Lord Mayor of Newcastle who kindly hosted a Civic Reception to welcome our guests to the City. The Exchange was only possible due to the goodwill of the UK-US business community and particular thanks go to Dave Anderson MP, Starbucks, East Coast Trains, Ladbrokes, Nexus, Morrison’s, The Parliamentary Outreach Team, The Malhotra Group and the Asian Business Community. (Check out the Forward Assist Twitter feed for more photographs of the trip)