President David Granger serves lunch to the veterans during the Guyana Veterans Legion's annual Christmas luncheon. Assisting him is the Legion's President, Lt. Col (ret’d) George Gomes

– President Granger tells veterans

PRESIDENT David Granger, on Wednesday afternoon, reiterated his commitment to ensuring veterans live comfortable lives and assured them that their future generations will benefit from petroleum revenues.

The Head of State was, at the time, delivering Christmas greetings at the Guyana Veterans Legion’s annual Christmas lunch. The event was held at the Legion’s Carifesta Avenue headquarters. He said as everyone looked forward to a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year, great things can be expected in 2020 when the Government launches the ‘Decade of Development’. This decade will span from 2020 to 2029. “Yes, there will be petroleum revenues but the revenues are not meant to fill the pockets of rich men. The revenues are meant to give all Guyanese a good life. Your children and grandchildren must never be poor again…You must rest assured that we will manage that revenue in a prudent manner so that your children will enjoy the benefits of education and employment, which some of you may not have enjoyed to the fullest,” he said.

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President David Granger sits with veterans at the Guyana Veterans Legion’s annual Christmas lunch, held on Wednesday

President Granger noted that Guyana owes a debt of gratitude to veterans for keeping Guyana intact. He said that this year was particularly significant as it was the 50th Anniversary of the two most important military operations to protect the integrity of the country, Rupununi in January, 1969 and New River in August, 1969. He recalled that in the first operation, he and his fellow troops went there not knowing what to expect but in the end were able to protect the integrity of the country. Months later, he said, Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ranks travelled to the New River area to again protect the country’s territorial integrity. “It was the GDF which led the way to keep Guyana [the way] it is today…Guyana owes the GDF an eternal debt, particularly for those two major operations 50 years ago and thereafter in maintaining our territorial integrity and sovereignty. So, we have reason to celebrate,” he said.

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Some of the veterans who attended the Guyana Veterans Legion’s annual Christmas lunch. The event was held at the Legion’s Carifesta Avenue headquarters.

He used the occasion to reiterate that the Veterans Commission of Inquiry was not only convened to investigate the conditions and service of the veterans but also to ensure that they can have comfortable lives, now that they have retired, particularly, from difficult service in the army.

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President Granger added that he was working with the Legion to ensure that veterans had comfortable lives. He thanked the veterans for their service and wished them a happy Christmas. He later served them lunch. Retired Chief of Staff of the GDF, Brigadier Edward Collins and President of the Royal Belizean Veterans Legion, Bob Stevens, also delivered brief Christmas greetings prior to the serving of lunch. Also present were the Legion’s President, Lt. Col (ret’d) George Gomes and General Secretary, Mr. Arno Solomon. (Ministry of the Presidency)

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