Communications boost for RBR soldiers
Almost $30,000 worth of mobile phone services has been donated to about 200 soldiers called up to battle the spread of Covid-19.
Digicel and One Communications explained the donations were made to Royal Bermuda Regiment troops to show appreciation of their work and the lift spirits of troops away from their families.
Leslie Rans, Digicel's chief executive officer, said: “These soldiers are giving service to our country — I didn't appreciate they were all required to live at Warwick Camp, which means they're separated from their families.
“They are front line workers, like our employees, and I understand the stress that imposes on them.”
Frank Amaral, the CEO of One Communications, added: “We are super happy to help. We're delighted to be able to show our appreciation to the soldiers out there.
“When I walk into a grocery store these days, I go out of my way to thank the people working behind the till.
“Like the Regiment, they're fulfilling a critical role in the community during a time of need. All of us should be grateful for what they do.”
The two companies got together to decide on matching donations, worked out with the Royal Bermuda Regiment Association, which was set up to keep former soldiers in touch with each other and to promote the welfare of serving troops.
Mr Amaral and Ms Rans highlighted the RBR's long history of support to the telecommunications industry by clearing roads after hurricanes so their staff could move around and repair damage to their networks.
Mr Amaral said: “We love our customers and our community. We are here to help and to get us through to the other side.”
Ms Rans added: “Digicel as a company has a mandate to assist where we can.”
The two company leaders said that their firms worked to help good causes and support the country and that they had made other donations in cash or kind without publicity.
Peter Aldrich, the RBRA vice-president, said: “We approached One Communications and Digicel and asked them if they could offer some kind of economic relief to embodied soldiers.
“We were staggered by their response and their generosity.”
Mr Aldrich added that many soldiers had been laid off work because of the Covid-19 pandemic before they were embodied and — like many others — had struggled to make ends meet.
He said: “Soldiers are in camp or forward operating bases, away from their families, and we thought it would be great if they were able to communicate with them without worrying about how they were going to pay for it.”
Mr Aldrich added that the move also meant that soldiers on duty could communicate more easily with each other to improve efficiency.
He said: “The RBRA is working on some other opportunities to assist our soldiers who have given of their time and risked their own health so unselfishly.”
RBR Commanding Officer Major Ben Beasley said: “Bermuda's soldiers don't seek public applause — they serve out of a sense of duty and a desire to protect the public, even if it means risk to themselves.
“But when people or businesses do step forward to show their appreciation — especially in such a generous and useful way — they are deeply grateful.
“This thoughtful gesture by Digicel and One will be a significant boost to morale and we are sincerely appreciative.”
*Companies or individuals who want to assist the RBR should contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.