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Dec 17, 2014

B.D.F. Christmas Luncheon to Honor Soldiers

The annual Christmas luncheon of the Belize Defense Force is an event to look forward to. Today, the soldiers gathered not only to celebrate the season, but also to honor over twenty soldiers who have lived up to their motto, “Shoulder to Shoulder.” One of the most outstanding soldiers is Selvin Nunez, a father of five from Hopkins, who has been with the force for two decades. Duane Moody and intern Joanna Colindres worked together on the following story.

 

Joanna Colindres, Reporting

Today at the B.D.F. Compound at Price Barracks, approximately four hundred soldiers of the Belize Defense Force were treated to the annual Christmas Luncheon of the force. It is done in an effort to recognize members of the B.D.F. that have excelled throughout the year and to show appreciation for the work that they’ve done.

 

David Jones

Brig. General David Jones, Commandant, B.D.F.

“We show that appreciation by preparing a special meal for them and they sit down and we serve them. So we serve them their food, their drinks, their grapes and apples and then they also get treated to some alcoholic beverages at the end.”

 

Reporter

“What about the other soldiers that are posted out district or in the various remote areas?”

 

Brig. General, David Jones

“Unfortunately not every soldier will be here seated because we can’t abandon the border, but this ceremony and this occasion is held countrywide. I just returned from Punta Gorda in Fairweather Camp yesterday; there was one previously in Orange Walk and there is going to be one next week in the Cayo district. The soldiers who are posted out along the border at this time, will eventually come in and we will save it for them and they will get the same treatment.”

 

Selvin Nunez

The ceremonies held today honored numerous soldiers including men and women who have embodied the “Shoulder to Shoulder” motto. One outstanding soldier is the eldest of the bunch, fifty-two year old Selvin Nunez he has been with the force for the past twenty years.

 

Warrant Officer Selvin Nunez, Honoree

“I started with the B.D.F. when I was eighteen years old but I left about eight years and I returned back so that’s why I’m the oldest soldier right now. I’m doing twenty years right now and got two more years to go. You normally start out as a junior NCO; you have to attend certain course to get promoted. After you rise in rank, every three years yo normally get promoted, but you have to do certain course to get yo rank. I have been abroad to America and Panama.”

 

The force also recognized a talented young lady. Private Nataki Alvarez enlisted back in October 2011 and is on a mission to break the stigma that females cannot become soldiers.

 

Nataki Alvarez

Private Nataki Alvarez, Honoree

“I feel good…I never expect I fi get it, but everything happen for a reason so I am happy. I worked to the best of my ability; I listen. Any task they give me, I try do it to the best of my ability.”

 

Duane Moody

“When did you get enlisted and have you always wanted to be a soldier defending the country?”

 

Private Nataki Alvarez

“Yes, yes, I always wanted to do that because I think it protect and serve and I always wanted to do that. For other women out there, I think that B.D.F. is a good job; it helps you a lot. It makes you know different people, know different places and makes you know your country. if you do get into training, it is just your mind; it’s a discipline. So if you have that discipline, you will pass out.”

 

Joanna Colindres reporting for News Five.

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