A lifelong affiliation with the armed forces makes Jim Montgomerie immensely proud of his new role.
The new North Ayrshire Veterans Champion is very much in his element after being appointed to one of the key roles on the board.
Councilor Montgomerie is committed to being a dedicated advocate for former military men and women.
Indeed, close friends and members of his own family served in the forces – along with two of his great-uncles who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II.
“I am incredibly proud and honored to have been chosen as the North Ayrshire Veterans Champion,” said Councilor Montgomerie.
“This is a cause that is close to my heart and I am committed to doing everything in my power to help veterans and to advance cases on their behalf.
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“I have been a big supporter of the armed forces from an early age, with members of my family serving.”
Two of Councilor Montgomerie’s great-uncles – brothers Hugh and William Montgomerie – are commemorated on the Saltcoats War Memorial for their sacrifice during the Second World War.
The 100th anniversary of the dedication of the war memorial in 1922 was marked in May with a special ceremony hosted by Councilor Montgomerie, who added: “The war memorial means a lot to me personally, William and Hugh Montgomerie are there remembering.
“I had the honor of organizing and speaking at the 100th anniversary of the memorial in May.
“I am very proud of the work we have done to maintain the memorial so that we can continue to cherish the memories of those who gave their lives for us.”
Councilor Montgomerie’s own father was called up for national service and his closest friend, Gordon Currie, spent more than two decades in the forces.
He added: “Gordon and I went to Glasgow to get information about signing up for the armed forces. At that time, the army office was right next to the navy office. He went to the army and I went to the navy to join the marines.
“He enlisted and ended up serving 24 years in the military, touring Iraq.”
Councilman Montgomerie’s burgeoning boxing career ended his ambition to join the Marines, but his affection for those who serve never wavered.
He added: “I have been very fortunate to have had a long connection with the forces and those who serve, and was a member of the British Legion for many years – something for which I am very grateful. Although I have never served, they welcomed me with open arms.
“Through my role as Veterans Champion, I hope to reward the kindness they have shown me.”
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