A Lisburn man who has demonstrated the volunteer spirit through a 39-year career in the Army Reserve has been honoured at a formal ceremony at Hillsborough Castle.
Sergeant David Brookes was recently presented with one of the highest accolades that can be conferred on members of the Reserve Forces and Cadet movements.
He received The Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate for Outstanding Meritorious Service Above and Beyond The Call of Duty – an award which is second in importance only to one presented by Her Majesty The Queen.
Sergeant Brookes, who received his award from Mrs Joan Christie OBE, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, is described in the Citation which accompanies his award as “an epic figure” in his unit and someone who is “immensely popular”.
In his role of preparing and guiding new recruits through their assimilation and preparation for training, Sergeant Brookes has proved as tireless as he is successful. In the past two years he has mentored more than 100 new soldiers, all of whom have become successful new soldiers within the Army Reserve.
The Citation states: “He always presents and demands the highest standards and is an exemplar of everything Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) can be. Thus he commands the highest levels of trust and respect.”
Passionate about charity, Sergeant Brookes is a committed fundraiser. In the past two years he has raised more than £5,000 through various fundraising and community events. He convinced local boxer Carl Frampton to give up his boxing gloves for auction and cajoled donations from Glentoran and Linfield football teams, raising £2,300. He even sacrificed his hair and famously hirsute moustache, shaving them off to raise £300 for charity.
The Citation continues: “People support him, because he possess no vanity or conceit; he knows what it means to put others first.”
It concludes: “Commitment, passion and belief in service of his comrades and his nation are at the centre of all he does. His efforts oblige us all to do more with what we have, to appreciate and respect those with whom we serve and go the extra mile. He is most deserving of formal recognition.”