Serving in Afghanistan with a true spirit of self-giving

From The Times
January 2, 2010
Credo: Serving in Afghanistan with a true spirit of self-giving
Richard Moth
The close of a year and the beginning of another is always a time when many of us look back on the year that has past and look forward to the year to come. For the Armed Services community of this country, 2009 has been marked by more casualties in Afghanistan — those who have died and those who now face life in a very different way as a result of injuries. For the families of these Service personnel, bereavement brings a sense of loss that is sometimes almost unbearable. Many new challenges lie ahead for those whose loved ones have returned with life-changing injuries. For some of our Service families, a look back into 2009 is a painful experience and the future is tinged with sadness and challenge. For others, there will be the joy that a loved one has returned safely from deployment.

One thing that is constant is the dedication and commitment shown by the personnel of all our Armed Services. This is something for which all should be thankful and which merits our unstinting support.

Recent visits to naval and army training establishments have brought me into contact with young men and women who were keen to talk about the new skills they were acquiring and whose commitment to their training is a source of inspiration.

These young people have made the decision to serve others in ways many of us would find daunting. There will, I am sure, be times when they look back to a more relaxed way of life. Some realise that the Armed Services may not be the place for them.

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