Hello dear friends It has been some time since I last wrote to you on here so I hope you will remember me. On Wednesday it will be one year ago that my life and that of my family was so shattering changed when my daughter Sam answered that dreaded knock on the front door, and that beloved family will nevr be the same again. And I try hard to think of what earth shattering change, what tremendous mark has been left on the world stage and that of Great Britain since our country became embroiled in a crisis of such national importance as that we have been plunged in now. AN EXODUS TOO FAR On beginning to read my post, you may be wondering just what it is that has empowered me to write to you about Moses and the Exodus of all things, but bear with me and read it through to the end. I expect you are all familiar with the word Exodus, the English dictionary defines it as A going out, or journey as in the departure of the Israelites from Egypt led by that great leader of men, Moses. As a child you would in all probability have read or heard the story of Moses as a baby when his mother placed him in a basket in the bulrushes to prevent him being killed by Pharaohs men, and his subsequent growing up as a young child by his mother and who was later taken by the daughter of Pharaoh to be brought up as her own son. Such a delightful and heart rending story, which has been told many times in ages past, and one would hope, to be told to many a young child today. But it is interesting to read about the life of Moses as the man, the young man that would be chosen by God, to lead his people the Israelites, out of Egypt and the heavy burden of bondage and slavery under Pharaoh at that time. You will know the part of the story where an angel of God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, but the bush was not consumed by the flames, you will remember how, on going over to investigate, that Moses heard God call out his name and told him not to come any closer because he was standing on Holy ground. The Lord God told Moses that he had seen the suffering of his people and was going to send him to Egypt, to the new Pharaoh, to demand that he let the people go. In further chapters we read of how Moses went up the mountain to meet with God and where he received the Ten Commandments or the book of the Covenant from God. In subsequent chapters we read about the construction of the Ark of the Covenant, now this was an important tool given by God to the Israelite people, for it held the power over evil and evil as you know comes in many guises. And he read to the people the book he had written-THE BOOK OF THE COVENANT-containing Gods directions and laws, and the people said again, We solemnly promise to obey every one of these rules. So, we can deduce from the book of Exodus that Moses was a man of honour, courage and integrity, a man of the people for the people who God had chosen to lead his people to the Promised Land, and he took the word of God and wrote the book of the covenant as a promise from God to his people for their wellbeing. Remember please, that the book of the Covenant was a vital and integral part of the way of life for the Israelites if they were going to be happy and contented in the Promised Land So let us now move forward in time to today, this 22nd of February 2008 in this 21st Century and see what parallels can be found in this current conflict this country faces, will we see similarities between what Moses faced and what our Brave Hearts face in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe its best if we regard this as the making of a film as we cast our players, the only thing you need to remember is that this re-enactment is not a film, IT IS VERY MUCH REALITY, HAPPENING TODAY, NOW. For Pharaoh lets substitute both the British and American Governments and their respective leaders George W Bush and Tony Blair, nee Gordon Brown as the latter, all equally, would make a fine upstanding Pharaoh. For God, there is no substitute; he is here and now, and forever, Amen For Moses we will enlist the help of the Generals of todays armies, those leaders of integrity who have to make hard decisions, who have to bow to the whim of pharaoh and his court, for example the Ministers of the inner cabinet office and the MOD. Who could fill the role of Pharaohs daughter and her helpers? Well none other than the many mums, wives and girlfriends of the children of Israel, those brave hearts who are lead by the Generals and their officers. For the Israelite people there are none better than the British and American forces, as a better substitute for our real life film. Finally we need to fill the bystanders roles, the extras, those people who have no lines to speak, just an act to follow, but who are the sole bottom line providers, those of us who seem to have no name in the eyes of Governments, merely just a number, who are made to fill the coffers of Pharaohs vast empire. You the public!! With the Covenant lain down by God before Moses in which it was plain to see the laws and promises given to them, the Israelite people felt safe and secure because God kept his promises. As long as they kept his laws in their hearts they would be safe and secure. NOW THIS IS WHERE THE PAST AND THE 21ST CENTURY PART as we come to see our own reality and the mission of all of you in ARRSE and beyond. So for a moment let us look at one of todays Covenants, that written down in the annuls of history, for the care and protection of the British armed forces. Because of copyright issues I am unable to copy directly from the MOD website to this post, but could I urge you, if you have not already done so to pay a visit to the MOD website and read for yourselves the promises laid down there for our heros and brave hearts. I will however highlight the points I feel are most valid, just like those lain down in front of Moses for the care and protection of Gods chosen people and in reading through the Covenant I see through the eyes of Moses, I see the promises laid down today by this and previous Governments, and I bow before God to thank him that he always keeps his promises, which is more than can be said by those in authority today. Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices - including the ultimate sacrifice - in the service of the Nation. In putting the needs of the nation and the army before their own they forgo some of the rights enjoyed by those outside the armed services. BRITISH SOLDIERS MUST ALWAYS BE ABLE TO EXPECT FAIR TREATMENT, to be VALUED AND RESPECTED, as individuals. They and their families will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service. THE COVENANT ALSO GOES ON TO SAY! This mutual obligation forms the Military Covenant between the Nation, the Army and each individual soldier; an unbreakable common bond of identity, loyalty and responsibility which has sustained the Army throughout its history. It has perhaps its greatest manifestation in the annual commemoration of Armistice Day, when the Nation keeps covenant with those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in action. A report published by the MOD this week says, that 20,340 servicemen and women left the armed services in 2007, one National newspaper referred to it as worrying but I call it CATASTOPHIC One ninth of all soldiers, sailors and airmen signed off in 2007. Despite pouring millions into aggressive advertising for recruitment the top brass are albut 6000 troops short to be able to fulfil current missions all over the world. To put into context that is equivalent to 10 complete battalions. Heed the words of shadow Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox, who said Ministers are pushing our service personnel to breaking point by stretching them this far These are words spoken by many people, many times but are they heeded? I think not. I have spoken to many young soldiers this last year, and time and again I hear the words, we are underpaid and over worked, many of us feel we are under valued and certainly not respected, many go on to say that they are apart from their families for to long. You will see that I have highlighted three points in the covenant, these I feel are of great importance, if not the most important, so let us see if we can understand what drives our sons and daughters to take on such a job. PERSONAL SACRIFICE. How I wonder, do you term a personal sacrifice, do you perhaps see it as a family thing like whacking in a bit of overtime to get something special for the kids or the wife? Maybe you would see it as giving a pint of blood to help someone live, both good values, but how to define personal sacrifice when you are talking about Queen and Country. Quietly think about that in your mind if you will, and I will tell you how I personally see it in a moment. What huge life changing moment in your own childs life happened, to turn them from a teenager to a grown man or woman in just a few short months? So, as a mum or dad, husband or wife I would guess that you have not dared to think about that other sacrifice, THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE because if you did I expect that you would be either on valium or climbing the walls in terror at such a thought. In the following paragraphs you will see just where that Covenant fits in and why I, like so many others feel that this Government has betrayed its troops so badly. It is one year on, on this 27th of February when the son of a loving family and of a caring community died, in tragic and unnecessary circumstances, just one life of many this decade, that has been taken from families and communities just like ours, I would like to reflect with you, not just one families and communities heartache, but the many communities and families up and down the country who have, and are about to go though what we as a community have and are going through now. This week I have written a letter to the press association in the hope that it will be printed in our national papers next week, this I also intend to send to specific Government figures to jog memories of the many sacrifices past made, and the sacrifices of so many that have been made this decade. Since the tragic loss of Daniel and all of those other comrades in arms of his, the world in my perspective, has suddenly grown much smaller and closer as we have, as a family lost a beloved son and grandson, but too, we have come that much closer in many ways, closer as a community and closer to those who suffer as we suffer, and to those who have carried the flag of this country in ages past. More than half a century has past by since the end of the Second World War, and prior to that the First World War and countless conflicts since, all of which have taken thousands of lives. The old heros of yesteryear have long gone to glory in Heaven, leaving the young behind to remember and move forward with what the old heros fought for. In this 21st century we again see many conflicts and unnecessary wars taking place around the world, conflicts fought by our own sons and daughters, of all colours and creeds, young people, who have proudly taken up the flag in the name of Queen and this our country, and sent at the behest of this government to inhospitable and often hostile countries and who are seen as the hated enemy, and not as champions of democracy as said government would perceive. But has this self same Government treated these brave young men and women with the dignity and respect that the have earned and died for? Governments are known, as we have learnt for so long now, that they have come to use words, words that can be made to fit their actions, but such words have little meaning to those who have lost so much in such a short time, and such words fall flat on the ears of the honest hard working public and voter of Great Britain. My heart bleeds, as though it were an endless river of blood that runs and flows together, with the blood shed by our countless servicemen and women both now, and in the past in the name of freedom and democracy. One but wonders, if there were more of our devoted soldiers being killed right now, then perhaps other people might think differently, and react differently to this present situation in Iraq and Afghanistan as a country we face. It is all very well in saying, there but for the grace of God go I. But! You have to be in the situation that so many people like I and countless families up and down the country are in, to know and to understand, let alone feel the tremendous pain that is felt in such circumstances. It is bad enough to have to handle the loss of a relative to injury or death in a car accident, let alone to have to come to terms knowing that your son, your daughter, brother, sister or grandson had been killed by a snipers bullet or a specifically placed roadside bomb in a dirty war. The loss of so many people in the two world wars should be enough to wake us all up to the fact that humanity matters, that the world matters, and that we, that self same humanity are not only still hell bent on killing each other but we are also hell bent on killing our planet as well. The two world wars were in part what I would term clean wars but no war is ever really clean, back then you knew your enemy, and you knew what you enemy was capable of. What we are facing today in this 21st Century is a warfare which is not clean, it is exceedingly dirty, hidden, and sometimes invisible with tragic and far reaching consequences, sometimes for years after, the more mankind strives for the unobtainable in his aims to better himself the dirtier warfare will become, until we reach the stage where there will be no turning back, the end will be final and exceedingly black for all mankind for ever more. To remember is to never to forget. To hold is to never let go. To love is to deny yourself for another; all these three encompass what we should hold dear in our hearts daily. Are you, yourselves, not proud of your son or daughter as they progress through school and college? Then should we too not be proud of the sons and daughters of Great Britain, who are placed in unenviable positions to fight dirty wars by the mother and father of Great Britain, namely THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT!! Its Ministers and MPs who you may recall we vote onto those hallowed seats at Westminster. The battle is never over till it is lost; I knew in my heart that this particular battle would be long and hard for our young heros. Some of you who might be reading this article will no doubt have either a son or daughter serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, or who like us, have lost a loved one in this sad conflict, and how I understand your grief if you have suffered such a loss. I would just wish you to know that you have the love in this old heart for your own family as you come to terms with that loss and just know in your heart that you are not alone to face that, for there are many people holding you up in their prayers and thoughts, as I have witnessed so many times this last painful year. To you, the mums, dads, families, boyfriends and girlfriends I say to you especially, 'be proud of your loved ones out there in this theatre of war in which they find themselves, for it is not a theatre of actors, but REAL hands on players, whose lives are at risk daily from real bombs and bullets, what calibre of man or women would freely take on such a role? May I answer my own question there? IT TAKES A MAN OR WOMAN OF INTEGRITY, OF COURAGE, AND HONOUR, TO FULFIL SUCH A TASK, they have put themselves at the forefront of this present conflict in the name of truth and justice, for the freedom of that truth and justice, For they are there in our name, sent there by this, and previous Governments, in this and previous decades. I would say to this current Government this, 'YOU HAVE SENT OUR SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN INTO IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN TO DO AN UNENVIABLE JOB, AND THEY DO THAT JOB WITH HONOUR, INTEGRITY AND PRIDE, they do this because it is expected of them, it is their duty of honour and they do that to a man. IT IS YOUR LEGAL BOUND DUTY AS THE GOVERNMENT OF THIS COUNTRY TO HONOUR THAT DUTY AND THAT COVENANT WHERE EVER IT IS NEEDED. Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson said at the battle of Trafalgar 'ENGLAND EXPECTS EVERY MAN TO DO HIS DUTY' We the British public of Great Britain also expects this British Government to also do its duty to our service personnel, by the provision of the tools and support to enable them to do that duty. If you intend to put our valuable human assets at risk of death and injury in the name of freedom and democracy then they should be fully equipped and protected at all times to do so. Do not the rules of the European Union and the Health and Safety Executive come down hard on industry and commerce should such companies break health and safety law???? So in that thinking are our service men and women also not covered equally by such health and safety laws? Or are Governments exempt from such basics in the 21st century. The armed forces of Great Britain cannot be expected to function as a force for good unless they have proper provision and protection to do so. The top Generals and commanders are telling you this time and again, but who is listening to them? Who is taking the necessary actions to implement these tasks? When lives are at stake you cannot afford to take risks, and cut corners in any warfare scenario, history tells us that time and again, because if you do then you will not only lose the battle, but you will also lose the war, and the sacrifices of many will have been given for nothing. I for one do not wish to see that the loss of my beloved grandson's life will be for nothing. Kindest regards always. David Godfrey Grandfather of Daniel Lee Coffey Died in Basra Iraq on 27th February 2007 Protecting his comrades. .