A blind National Service veteran from Woodbridge is backing our campaign this Remembrance to reach the 59,000 people who could be eligible for our support but do not yet realise it.
Geoff Moss, 79, said: “Like many people of my generation, I completed my National Service over 50 years ago. I was proud to serve my country but even when I lost my sight I didn’t think of contacting Blind Veterans UK because I didn’t know that National Service veterans were eligible for support.”
Geoff was called up for National Service in 1959. After training at RAF Bridgnorth he served with the RAF Police at RAF Netheravon and RAF Bawdsey before his discharge as a Corporal in 1961.
Geoff says: “It was a great time in my life. I was stationed in Bawdsey, which is right next to the sea and it was absolutely beautiful. I enjoyed being out and about, so sometimes the security work at police headquarters could be rather dull, but I had some very good friends which made all the difference.”
Geoff knew from the age of 18 that he wanted to join the police force, which partly influenced his decision to join the RAF Police when he began his National Service. Upon discharge in 1961 he joined what is now the Suffolk Constabulary and immediately began his basic training in Felixstowe. During his 30-year career, Geoff spent time as a village policeman, worked with the CID drug squad and completed a secondment with Scotland Yard.
Geoff says: “What I enjoyed most about my work was meeting different people every day – the bad and the good. I was lucky to have a lot of freedom within the roles I worked and to challenge myself. It was a career that suited me down to the ground.”
Having worked in the police force for more than 30 years, Geoff feared losing his independence along with his sight when he was diagnosed with glaucoma. Fortunately, thanks to our support, Geoff has received the training and equipment he needs to continue living life to the full.
Geoff says: “I initially found it very difficult to accept I was going blind. I had to rely on my wife to drive me around and I lost confidence in going out alone. But since joining Blind Veterans UK it’s like I’ve been given a new lease of life.”
Blind Veterans UK has provided Geoff with specialist equipment to help him around the home such as a magnifier, an LED lamp and a talking watch. Geoff also regularly attends Blind Veterans UK lunch clubs in his local community, and has visited the Blind Veterans UK centre in Brighton for IT training and an introduction week, where he learned to adapt to his sight loss.
Geoff says: “Blind Veterans UK has given me tremendous support. I’ve found the charity so willing to assist with the smallest things and the staff will go out of their way to help me out. If you’re a veteran or did National Service get in touch with the charity, you won’t regret it.”