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Day by painful day the news trickles in. Another soldier killed or injured in Afghanistan. Another wasted life for another wasteful conflict?

Personally, as a former soldier and still a member of our reserve forces, I know that soldiers, sailors and airmen never regard their duty as a waste. But if there are criticisms at all they are reserved only for the degree of support offered by offialdom back home - whether it be from politicians or Chiefs of Staff. Sometimes too much is expected of our troops and too little is spent upon giving them the appropriate equipment. I write this with just a few weeks to go until the annual celebration of courage and sacrifice on November 11th. It was designed as a day of remembrance - originally for the fallen of the First World War. But wars have outnumbered available days. Now we remember the courage of those who have fought and died for their country in two world wars and many many smaller conflicts. We remember the fallen in Northern Ireland too. I believe that memories must be kept alive. But I am also convinced that more and more of us want to contribute something positive by way of saying thank you. That is why I am proud to be associated with Help for Heroes which has brought such fresh zest to its cause. You will find a link to them below and a link to the Royal British Legion too.

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