New group set to launch this month
A new group for veterans, serving personnel, uniformed personnel and the emergency services will meet in Aberdeenshire for the first time this month.
Op Spartan is a uniformed services and veteran community being set up across the UK aiming to support, uplift and inspire from within its own ranks, and the Aberdeenshire hub will meet in Turriff Legion's lounge bar at 10am on Saturday January 18.
Thereafter the group plans to meet at the same time on the third Saturday of every month.
Op Spartan was founded by ex-Marine Steven Burns, a Military Cross recipient, who says that he sees Op Spartan as a "family united in raising each other up".
After 14 years in the Marines he started working in the security sector, and developed an app to help families spend quality time with their children.
He then realised that the same components and knowledge he had put into his app could be adapted and applied to supporting veterans and uniformed services personnel, and he was pushed to further develop this idea after realised that there were others who were thinking and feeling just like him and who - just like him - didn't realise that others felt these things too.
Explaining a little about community, Mr Burns said: "I want Op Spartan to enhance and assist the work that charities, etc, are providing and give a little bit more sense of belonging than a Facebook group.
"This is why we are setting up the events to encourage people to get together in your local area to have that human interaction with like minded people, helping to create that positive mindset."