In the next issue of Left Right Left, we are covering the topic of operational tours and focussing in particular on those away on service for their country over the festive period. Inside the next issue, we caught up with Keith Blake, aka Blakey about his experiences with Team Rubicon UK who are a Disaster Response Veterans Charity and his time away on ops with them.
Left Right Left: How was the whole experience for you in the aftermath of Hurricane’s Irma and Maria?
Blakey: “They’re a hardy bunch the Virgin Islanders; you have to admire their resilience, especially this season after being hit by both Hurricane’s Irma then Maria. The lasting impression on me from my time there was the initial first impression to be honest, as soon as we banked round to land in our 20 seat twin prop at Beef Island the myriad of upturned boats, roofless houses, collapsed walls and every single tree stripped of its foliage. It was sheer devastation, some folk (and TRUK has veterans in abundance) likened it to a ‘warzone’, I completely disagree of course; having been through the second gulf conflict I can tell you the devastation was everywhere, not just sporadic crumpled buildings and the twisted metal of targeted armour, just wrecks beyond comprehension.”