Service personnel still facing danger in areas of conflict
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