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Top 10 blogs of 2019

In 2019, we had lots of great news, stories and Royal Air Force anniversaries on our website. We challenged ourselves once more and put together a list of this year's top 10 blogs.

1. In January, we were overwhelmed by the public's response to the vandalism carried out at the Bomber Command Memorial on a Sunday night. Countless offers of support came in to help us clean up the Memorial. The incredible generosity of our supporters saw more than £20,000 in donations made to help cover the costs of the repair work.

2. "I was thankful to have my life". Renowned as the Red Arrows' longest serving pilot, Squadron Leader Mike Ling, who retired from the Royal Air Force after 21 years in April this year, shared how his dream job almost came to a catastrophic end following a mid-air collision, and how we helped him.

3. As D-Day, 6 June 1944 dawned, those who were to play a pivotal part in its success were landing on the beaches of Normandy. Back in the UK, hundreds of personnel were supporting Operation Overlord including radar operator Rose Davies, who was just starting her shift. "I always felt my role in D-Day was insignificant in comparison to those brave lads who risked their lives and in some cases lost them."

4. We launched a Community Engagement Worker scheme to help older RAF veterans get involved in their local communities. The scheme comes in response to the research we carried out by the which highlighted the challenges and issues which most concern the older generation of RAF veterans.

5. In the second of our series of blogs celebrating love in the RAF, "Through all our adventures in life together", Carla Robinson told us about her wedding in the Welsh countryside which had to wait while the couple travelled the world.

6. Fundraiser Eirlys Greenough climbed three European volcanoes in just a week to pay tribute to her family and support us. The 47-year-old's husband Andy and two young children Evan and Nia died in a house fire 12 years ago, while the family were stationed at RAF Akrotiri.

7. We launched a major campaign to get thousands of RAF veterans in need back on the radar. Our 'Join The Search. Change A Life.' campaign, encouraged the public to get thousands of RAF veterans and their families 'back on the radar' and, if they need it, accessing support that is rightfully theirs.

8. We learnt how pilot Bram Vanderstok found his way to freedom in the Great Escape. Seventy-five years ago, a group of POWs were preparing to crawl to freedom through a 300-foot long tunnel in what would become known as the Great Escape. "Then I felt the three distinct tugs and slowly popped my head up and looked in the direction of the camp. There I saw the barbed wire fence brightly lit by the lights along the periphery."

9. Five-year-old fundraiser Jacob Newson raised more than £6,000 for the Fund after climbing Yorkshire peak Pen-y-Ghent. As a thank you for his incredible support, we invited him along to a special event in Oxfordshire where he got to meet his heroes, Spitfire ace Allan Scott and the last Dambuster Johnny Johnson, and watch a P-51 Mustang take to the skies.

10. A career in the military is more than just a job, it's a way of life, a brotherhood and a family. But what happens if that's cut short unexpectedly? Andrew Stevens talked about his personal experience of leaving the RAF and how he spent 10 years battling a condition he didn't know he had.

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