Ser­vice per­son­nel still fac­ing dan­ger in ar­eas of con­flict

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

ALTHOUGH it was par­tic­u­larly poignant to at­tend the Re­mem­brance Ser­vice in Old Amer­sham, be­cause it was the cen­te­nary of the First World War, it made me think how our ser­vice per­son­nel are still fac­ing dan­gers on our be­half.

Even as the troops come back from Afghanistan, mem­bers of the RAF – with whom I took part in the armed ser­vices par­lia­men­tary scheme – are fly­ing mis­sions over Iraq against IS.

Mem­bers of the armed ser­vices are also show­ing ex­em­plary courage (although they would say it is all part of what they train to do) as they set out to help peo­ple who are the vic­tims of the deadly ebola virus in Sierra Leone.

A to­tal of 750 mil­i­tary staff, in­clud­ing army medics, are help­ing to con­struct and get a treat­ment cen­tre and other fa­cil­i­ties into op­er­a­tion. Across Sierra Leone there will be 700 new beds avail­able for pa­tients as a re­sult of what our ser­vice per­son­nel are do­ing.

There will be 100 beds for use on the hos­pi­tal ship, the RFA Ar­gus, while mem­bers of the Royal Navy are also fly­ing he­li­copters to as­sist with the lo­gis­tics of tack­ling the epi­demic.

The navy are also help­ing with the con­struc­tion ef­forts.

It is all very dif­fer­ent from what my par­ents did when they were serv­ing in the armed forces dur­ing the Sec­ond World War. My mother was in the WRENs while my fa­ther served in the army in In­dia and was then re­called to duty in the Suez Cri­sis in 1956 be­cause he had re­mained in the Ter­ri­to­rial Army after the war.

There will be peo­ple who vol­un­teer to join the ter­ri­to­ri­als th­ese days who, along­side our reg­u­lar ser­vice­men and women, will con­tinue to face chal­lenges ev­ery bit as tough as this coun­try faced as a whole dur­ing the First and Sec­ond World Wars.

What they have in common with those we re­mem­ber from past times is the res­o­lu­tion and de­ter­mi­na­tion with which they carry out their du­ties. We should all be im­mensely proud of them.

Ch­eryl Gil­lan MP for Che­sham & Amer­sham

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