Members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force showed their gratitude this Thursday in grand style during their annual Thanksgiving Service and Career Transitioning Luncheon Ceremony at the Defence Force’s Coral Harbour Base.
Twenty-three (23) “transitioning veterans” of the RBDF, including some of whom will be retiring within the next few months, were the honored guests at this year’s event. They were all hailed as Guardians of our Heritage by the Minister of National Security, the Honorable Marvin Dames, who brought remarks at the ceremony. He praised the Force’s members for their hard work even in the face of difficulty and criticism and thanked them for their part in slowly restoring the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco in the aftermath of Dorian.
Also in attendance were Acting Commander Defence Force, Captain Raymond King; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Mr. Eugene Poitier; and Commodores Retired Leon Smith, Davy Rolle, Clifford Scavella and Roderick Bowe.
Captain King encouraged the Officers and Marines of the Force to remain steadfast in the execution of their duties and thanked the retirees for their long service and providing foundational blocks for future generations of servicemen and servicewomen to build upon .
Petty Officer John Ingraham delivered an inspiring devotional thought, as he encouraged those in attendance to never forget to say thanks and be mindful that someone’s outward appearance is never an indication of what persons may be dealing with inside.
The newly retired honorees, or transitionees as the Force regards them, were presented with commemorative plaques and a gift bag on behalf of a grateful force for their intangible contributions.
One of the highlights of the day, in the life of the structured force remains the thanksgiving meal. As dictated by Defence Force tradition, roles are elegantly reversed and Officers (Managers of the Force) put on their aprons and gloves to serve their Enlisted (line staff) staff members, ensuring they are fed and fit for battle.
The entire day represented a rare opportunity for the members of the Force to gain balance and relax. It also gave them a chance to thank those they may unconsciously overlook, and be thanked in the pursuit of preservation of an ocean nation.