Veterans speak at Aberdeen ceremony to mark start of Armed Forces Week

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Veterans were among the speakers at a ceremony marking the start of Armed Forces Week.

More than 100 people gathered at Woodhill House – the base of Aberdeenshire Council – for the event, which was moved indoors due to heavy rain.

More than 60 invited guests attended.

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Among the speakers was former Royal Marine Paul Barrett, who was seriously injured when an improvised device exploded near him when he was on duty in southern Afghanistan.

Mr Barrett said: “I was on a routine patrol and within an instant my life turned.”

Referring to his fellow veteran Ian Clark, who also spoke at the ceremony, Mr Barrett said: “Ian was the bloke who called in the helicopter and the bloke who sat by my bed when I was given the last rites. I died twice and he was going to tell my mum and dad but I made it through.

“Things change your life and a friendship with Ian forged through the hard times was one of the biggest things that got me through the transition to becoming a veteran.”