I think about those who have lost their father or mother

Jodie Older is a Healthcare Assistant currently serving in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Nursing Corps.

Jodie has worn a poppy during Remembrance for as long as she can remember.

When she was at school, she wore the poppy for those that fought and died during the First and Second World Wars.

“I remember seeing the old veterans marching,” says Jodie. “I wore the poppy because we wouldn’t’ be here today if it wasn’t for the people that served and died for us.”

Changing perspective

This all changed when Jodie joined the Army. Though she’d grown up in a military family, it wasn’t until she went on the Battlefield tour to France and Belgium that she felt a personal connection to the poppy.

“We went during basic training. Seeing all the graves while being surrounded by the people I was training with, I felt a connection between those serving alongside me and those who served a hundred years ago.

“When I got to my first regiment, it was during the conflict in Afghanistan, so people were going out to Afghanistan and some weren’t returning. So it gave me more of an insight into the poppy and what it meant.

Soldiers Adam and Jodie Older on being parents in the military.

Two Minute Silence

“It changed what I thought about during the Two Minute Silence. Before it was more about the veterans and the older generation, but now I think about families and children that have lost their father or mother. I think about the people who have been injured, I think more about the variety of it all.

“The poppy is a symbol of life. Of knowing that we are living because of what happened, but also that if you’ve been affected, that you’re still able to carry on living with help. It’s not just about sacrifice, but the possibility for support and new beginning for those who have been wounded or become sick.”

“When you’re standing there during the Two Minute Silence, you don’t know what the people around you have been through. If they have a family member, or if they themselves were part of it. Everybody’s different, with different experiences, so not every act of Remembrance is the same but the poppy is same.

“So I’d ask people to just stop and think of the people around them, of their own experiences and what they’ve seen.”

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