Falklands Veterans
The Falklands Veterans Foundation
Incorporating Liberty Lodge

The first UK based charity for
Falklands Veterans and their Immediate Families

The Falklands Veterans Foundation (FVF) - Testimonials

"Firstly our grateful thanks to Karen Cole for her persistence in eventually getting Kim to the Falkland Islands in memory of her Brother Kevin ‘Ben' Casey 846 squadron, the first casualty of the Falklands War. Covid delayed us by 2 years but eventually we arrived October 2022. Liberty Lodge is beautiful, spacious and if required, has quiet places to disappear to and reflect. Christine was always on hand or at the end of the telephone, nothing was too much trouble. We met many locals who are so grateful for the Task Force. We were driven around the Island on several occasions visiting memorials, battle sites and penguin spotting! Kim and I are so grateful to the FVF for their help and assistance. Without this wonderful Charity, we would never have been able to visit these magical Islands and Kim would never have put her heart at rest and answered so many unanswered questions. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

Kim Casey and Steve Welton

"On behalf of my daughter, Rebekah and myself I just wanted to express my heartfelt thanks and deepest gratitude to the FVF for organising my and my daughter's Pilgrimage to the Falklands Islands. As soon as we arrived at the beautiful Liberty Lodge we were greeted by Christine's warmth and we were given such a warm welcome by every single person we met and there were many!

To actually have been in the Islands was surreal, it was a very long time coming but I can honestly say that I could not be happier. My hurting heart has been healed, I will never stop missing dad but spending time in the Islands and getting to know the people there was lovely but for me it was listening to their stories and how they coped that validated everything for me. I now feel that dad did not die in vain for a place we had no connection with.

Liberty Lodge is just perfect, it is home from home, we can socialise and do things together as a group or find peace and time for reflection and solace on our own. Every need is catered for and Christine is just such a warm and special lady, we are honoured to have met her, nothing seemed too much trouble, she even came to see us off at 4.45am!!

Whilst in the Islands we felt that we wanted to experience as much as possible and we really did. We met some amazing people that have become friends and everyone went out of their way to accommodate us. We will never forget this experience and will be talking about it for a long time to come.

I would like to say thank you to the FVF for funding my flight and making this pilgrimage possible. I would also like to extend my thanks to the Seafarers' Charity and the Merchant Navy Association as they kindly offered grants to help with the funding for my daughter's flight so she could accompany me as I needed her for support.

I have returned happy and at peace, a peace that I thought I would never have again, so I thank you all from the bottom of my healed heart."

Libby Foulkes-Wright - daughter of Frank Foulkes (Atlantic Conveyor) KIA

"I would like to thank the FVF very much for funding the flights which allowed myself and two other Veterans from 3 Para to visit the Falklands for the 40th Anniversary of the landing. I can speak for all of us, we all feel very much privileged and humble at all the efforts made by the FVF to ensure us Veterans were at the Landing Day Service at San Carlos. Our thanks also go to Christine who organised our trips to the other battlefields, not forgetting all the local drivers that gave their time up for us. "

Peter Mark Thompson – 3 Para

"It is just to pay my gratitude to Karen and the FVF for all their help, paying for a full fare flight and getting me down to the Falkland Islands for the 40th Anniversary celebrations. I had a wonderful time in the Falklands. I managed to go to the places I had been in 1982 and do things I wanted to do. I met some of the Islanders in Stanley who I met back in 1982 after the Argentines surrendered! It was an amazing feeling to meet them after 40 years when they were teenagers and I was about 21!

Christine, along with her husband Neil, were tremendously helpful in our every need. Neil drove me and other Veterans around to see memorials, places of interests and penguins! It could not have been possible without Karen's personal effort and the FVF's sponsorship for my visit. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help."

Nabin Siwa – 1/7 Gurkha Regt

"My trip to the Falklands has been beyond my expectations. The hospitality I received from the Islanders was incredibly moving. I was deployed to the Falklands as a young private and it was a very emotional experience. I cannot thank Karen and the FVF enough for them paying for a full fare flight and giving me the opportunity to return. I will hold the memories I made on my trip back near and dear forever. I would also like to thank Christine and her husband Neil for looking after me during the visit."

Padam Limbu – 1/7 Gurkha Regt

"I would like to say thank you to the FVF for all of their hard work in arranging and sponsoring our trip to the Falkland Islands in time for the 40th Anniversary of Liberation Day. A trip that will stay with us forever. Karen, your efforts were nothing short of outstanding"

Richard Ash and Co82 – HMS Plymouth

"The Lodge has provided a calm, peaceful and very comfortable setting for our visit. This was particularly welcome after undertaking visits to the various spots important to us from '82. Ali was always there to help and guide us throughout and all the people we had contact with were wonderful. I felt very privileged to be able to make the trip and stay at the Lodge and it has been an experience I will treasure. For me the trip has provided a sense of closure to many aspects of my service in '82. Many thanks."

Mr M, 59 RE

"This has been an emotional trip. The Lodge is superb and the welcome given to us by everyone we met was great. I will be back."

Mr H, HMS Argonaut

"Thank you for making our stay so perfect. The Lodge is quite excellent and has everything, and more than we required. We were very comfortable and Ali was so attentive and generous. This visit has been more than we expected entirely due to this Lodge and the generosity of everyone associated with it."

Mr & Mrs K, 7th Gurkha Rifles

"From the moment I first arrived here at the Lodge I have been made to feel welcome and the facilities are simply superb. The welcome from the Islanders that I have spoken to has been overwhelming, I will leave here in the certain knowledge that the events in 1982 were well worth doing. The facilities here are absolutely superb. The Lodge is warm, comfortable and welcoming. Ali is a treasure and helps to make the stay so good. Her welcome stew was exactly what was needed after the flight. I found the availability of a vehicle to be invaluable. Being able to venture forth alone was just what I needed but the advice from both Ali and Smokey made things a lot easier. Over the years many demons have sat on my shoulders. I have always thought I shouldn't feel like that but the hours that I have spent away from Stanley, the conversations I have had with people from Goose Green to Stanley and just sitting and thinking at the memorials have, I believe put more things into perspective and I leave the Islands a much more settled person. Thank you all for everything you have done in the past and you will do in the future."

Mr T, HMS Bristol

"Thank you very much for providing such an excellent and welcoming facility. It has been a privilege to stay at the Lodge. It has truly made the time I have had with my wife on her visit extremely special indeed. Once again, many thanks."

Mr C, Serving Military in the FI

"Liberty Lodge is absolutely fantastic and faultless. Every little detail has been well thought out. As a family of 9 plus an 8 month old baby we couldn't ask for anymore for what you have done. The trips you organise and the locals who helped make these trips possible, we can't thank you enough. Even in the difficult times of trying to get back home due to COVID 19, you have kept us up to date, thank you so much to all."

Lisa Fallowski - Next of Kin of a Serviceman Killed in Action

"We would like to thank you for letting us stay at Liberty Lodge. This is a perfect place to relax and recuperate at the halfway point of my tour and of course my wife's visit to the Islands. She came here to understand how I feel at certain times of the year. Would you believe it, she has fallen in love with the Islands and is already planning a return visit, maybe even to live!! Ali couldn't of been more helpful even if she tried. Liberty Lodge is ideal for Veterans and their families. Hope we can keeping running as is."

Alan 'Sharkey' Ward - HMS Herald 1982

"An absolutely wonderful place for any or all Veterans to return to a place they were familiar with in 1982. 37 years here cemented the reasons for why it had to be done. The warmth of the Falkland Islanders has not dimmed with the passage of time, if anything it burns more brightly. Liberty Lodge and Ali could not have done more for us. You do amazing work - keep going and thank you."

Steve Nicoll - M&AW Cadre RM 1982

"What can I say, just a fantastic stay in a wonderful Lodge. It is a credit to the FVF. Thanks so much, it made my return to the Falklands a real pleasure."

Gary Driver - T Battery RA 1982

"I would like to thank Karen and Smokey for all of the time and effort they devote to ensuring that the Lodge and all of the functions around it appear to work seamlessly and without fuss. Without Liberty Lodge, I for one would not have even contemplated a return visit. Besides being a place to stay the Lodge is a focal point, a place identified with returning Veterans. On many occasions I was asked if I was staying "at the Lodge" and my positive reply ensured that I was welcomed in a way I would never expect. More than once I was thanked "on behalf of myself, my children and my grandchildren." This was accompanied by a sincere hug and, on my part, a lump in my throat and a tear in the corner of my eye (and I suspect in theirs too). If anyone ever has any doubts that the whole operation was worth it then they only have to visit the Islands and speak to the Islanders. As I have said on more than one occasion, even if it was only to myself, not a day goes by that the Islands do not come into my thoughts at one time or another. Not a single day and that is no exaggeration. Truthfully I needed to return more than I knew. I do intend to make a return visit and this time not to wait for 37 years before I do. So, once again, thank you both for all that you have done and are doing on behalf of not just me, but all Veterans. Without your efforts my visit could not have happened. Both Karen and Smokey should be proud of what they have achieved and I for one am proud to have met Smokey and corresponded with Karen on email."

Ernie Travers - HMS Bristol 1982

"We had a most wonderful stay in the Lodge. The accommodation is first class and the welcome and service I received from your staff was beyond excellent. The use of the vehicles to travel to different sites and places was great as it allowed us to tick all the boxes for the places and people we wanted to visit."

Rob Martin - RAF 1 Sqn Harriers 1982

"My sincere thanks to one and all for the wonderful stay I've had at the Lodge. This is my first visit but it won't be the last. This really is a home from home with every creature comfort possible. What a superb set-up it is. Once again thank you and best wishes."

Del Amos - 2 Para 1982

"I would like to thank all involved in our stay at the Lodge. I find it difficult to express my utmost thanks to all involved in this trip, humbling, empathetic from the UK and back. A lovely serene location, it has been a pleasure once again. I wish you all the best for the future."

Martin Margerison - B Company 2 Para 1982

"Liberty Lodge is outstanding in every way. Ali was helpful in every aspect of our stay, from arranging our trips, cooking, giving us direction and in just being a very nice lady. We have been made very welcome. It has taken me 36 years to return to the Falklands and I hope to return again soon."

Perry Mason - 40 Cdo/RFA Sir Percival 1982

"My time in the Islands was memorable and positive. As it was my first visit since 1983, there was some apprehension about how it would affect me. But Liberty Lodge took care of all the extraneous pressures that might have overwhelmed me, enabling a relaxed and fascinating visit. Any Veteran or NoK nervous about visiting the FI should be assured that the FVF's facilities mean they can focus on the core focus purpose of their visit."

Mark Stollery - HMS Fearless 1982

"Thank you so much for an experience I wouldn't have dreamed of. It has taken 35 years for me to visit the Islands. My father, Sgt Roger Enefer, 45 Commando Royal Marines lost his life here. Ali has made us feel very welcome, spoiling us with some lovely food and homemade cakes/biscuits. Liberty Lodge is an amazing place and we were very lucky to be able to stay."

Damon & Lisa Barrow - Next of Kin of a Serviceman Killed in Action

"We have had the most wonderful visit - my first and it surpassed all expectation. The warmth and hospitality that we have received has been incredible and will never be forgotten. Ali and the Lodge could not have done more - we have felt hugely spoilt and could not have asked for more. So, thank you most sincerely, visiting these most beautiful Islands has been wonderful and we felt very at home here. Thank you, thank you and more!!"

David & Viv Wheen - 42 Cdo RM L Coy 1982

"Thank you for all that you did in securing our flights and the Lodge. I have to say that although I was not really convinced that I wanted to return, I am so happy that I did in the end as it was such a memorable visit and the locals are even now so grateful to all that served during the conflict of 82. I indeed already do champion the Lodge and the FVF in the tremendous work that you do for the Veterans that served and will continue to do so. I think that now I have returned and laid to rest the bad memories that were generated for me back then I would possibly like to look at returning again at some point along with my family to show them what a superb legacy was created from those dark days 36 years ago. A huge thankyou once again for arranging it all for us and please do keep up the fantastic work."

Reg Cornall - HMS Exeter 1982

"This is by far the most welcoming and friendly place we have ever stayed in. The view from the lounge windows is stunning and therapeutic. The large table in the kitchen is great for catching up with everyone. The Lodge is very well equipped and comfy. The Manager, Ali is fantastic and helps with anything. The people of the Falkland Islands are extremely friendly. We do hope to come back."

Curly & Maxine Burnett - Commando Logistics RM 1982

"On my arrival I was met by the Lodge Manager, Ellen who was very welcoming and my first impression was that I had known her a long time as she made me feel very much at home. It's not until you actually stay in the Lodge do you realise how magnificent a building it is, the construction is superb and it has to be given its location, the fixtures and fittings are of a very high standard. It's clear a considerable amount of thought (and expense) went into the contents of the Lodge. The rooms are very large and fitted out like a 5 star hotel, the bathrooms are of the highest quality and the living room area reminds me of very best Sergeants/Officers Mess with the leather sofas. The kitchen also deserves a special mention as it contains everything you need and again I was impressed by the quality of the fixtures and fittings.

My return to the Falkland Islands was mainly driven by the opportunity to go back and pay my respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of the Islands and by doing so protecting the way of life of the inhabitants. During the war I never had the chance to attend the funerals, however I have now said my final farewell. Without the Lodge and the assistance of the FVF this would not have been possible and in addition, to get to spend a week in luxury was an added bonus.

I have already booked up to attend next year in August 2016 and have organised another 6 Veterans to come. This will be their first visit and they, like me, will be extremely grateful they have the opportunity to return and confirm what we have all been asked many times "was it worth it?" YES."

L/CPL Jim McLachlan 30th Signal Regiment 1982

"Just to let anybody know who hasn't yet taken advantage of the Indulgence system, it is a great way to go and visit the Islands. Had a great time down there, which at times was very emotional. Things I had forgotten came to light and memories came flooding back.

The Lodge is amazing .... It is Sanctuary, it is warm, comfortable and well looked after. I don't know if it was the Lodge or the fact that I was in the Falklands but for the first time in years I managed to sleep without nightmares. I would just like to thank everyone involved in making my journey and stay such a memorable part of my life."

A/B(M) RFA Sir Percival 1982

"When myself and fellow veterans Jim Foster and Wayne Rees first decided to do the walk for Combat Stress, I knew that returning to the site of the battles would have a devastating impact on me. Once we visited the graves not just of the British soldiers, but of those on the Argentine side too, and the places where friends of mine died, the memories came flooding back and it became quite overwhelming. I must admit returning to the Islands has confirmed my own belief in the conflict. I gave a talk about how, since the end of the conflict, I had questioned whether the war was worth it. However, having gone back again, spoken to the Islanders, seen the transformation in places like Port Stanley, it was clear to me that it was a just cause and the sacrifice of the 255 British servicemen who died was not in vain.

Our re-visit to the Islands also gave us the opportunity to visit Liberty Lodge which is a fantastic facility devised to benefit veterans and their families who visit the Islands. The facilities on offer at the Lodge are of an excellent high standard which will make visitors stay all the more relaxing and enjoyable. I felt, not only is this an attractively decorated Lodge it also provides breath-taking views with it being situated high on the hill overlooking the harbour. The location is perfect which also allows easy access for the visiting veterans and their families to the centre of Stanley. I believe that the Lodge will provide an excellent opportunity for the veterans and the people of the Falklands to build a rapport. Liberty Lodge is a great asset for all veterans and the FVF must be congratulated for making the project happen and integrating the Lodge into the Port Stanley community."

Tony Banks, 2 Para

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