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State confers honorary WO1 on Ex-Private Hammond

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Monday conferred the honorary rank of Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) on Ex-Serviceman, Private (Pte) Joseph Ashitey Hammond for his patriotic exploits and continuous service to the nation

The honour,  which was conferred on him at the Burma Hall in Accra  on July 20 this year, followed his recent humanitarian efforts.

“In recognition of his patriotic exploits, the President of the Republic and the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has conferred on him the honorary rank of Warrant officer Class One with effect from 20th of July,” the citation read.

The Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, who officially presented the honorary award on behalf of the President at a short ceremony on Monday, said Ex- Pte Hammond had been an outstanding Second World War veteran whose activities over the years had been exemplary.

He recounted that he was among a group of ex-service men who marched to the Osu Castle on February 28, 1948, to present a petition to the then Governor of the Gold Coast.

The famous march, he said, resulted in the killing of three of the ex-service men, which became a catalyst for the attainment of Ghana’s independence.

 “In contemporary times, this gallant veteran has been an Ambassador for Veterans Association of Ghana, touring some schools in the Accra Metropolis to educate students and pupils on not just Ghana’s history, but the virtues of patriotism,” Mr Nitiwul said.

“It was in view of these exceptional contributions and sacrifices of the war veteran that the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, Nana Akufo-Addo, deemed it right and appropriate to confer on him the Honourary Rank of Warrant Officer Class One.”  The Defence Minister said.

“It is my hope and belief that this will motivate and encourage others to strive and emulate his achievements,” he added.

Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, for his part,  described the ex-serviceman as selfless and one whose work had been exceptional and worth emulating.

He said the honour would inculcate the virtue of patriotism, especially in the young ones, as well as the ordinary citizenry, adding, “it would boost the morale of serving officers and the current generation of Ghanaians would continue to work hard to change the country for the better whether they are in or out of uniform.”

The Chairman of the Veterans Administration, Ghana (VAG), Major General Clayton Yaache (Rtd), expressed profound gratitude to the President, the Minister of Defence, and the Chief of Defence Staff for the unique honour done not only to the recipient but also to all veterans.

“We pray that the nation will continue to recognise and appreciate veterans, for their past services and contribution to mother Ghana,” he added.

WO1 Ashitey Hammond expressed gratitude for the honour conferred on him and assured the state of his continuous service anytime the nation calls on him for the betterment of the country.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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