Today was Armed Forces Day:

It’s an opportunity to do two things. Firstly, to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, Secondly, it gives the nation an opportunity to Show Your Support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families and from veterans to cadets.

One of the most sobering aspects of service as an MP is sitting in silence at the beginning of all too many sessions of questions to the Prime Minister to hear the names of the fallen. It is rivalled in my time only by debates and prospects of debates on committing our Armed Forces to action.

It is too easy today to forget that brave men and women are even now risking their lives in the work of helping Afghanistan become a better country. It is controversial work and many of us wish they were not there.

But wishing is no good at all. The fact remains they were put there by Parliament for a purpose and that they are risking all to fulfil it. As someone who served, albeit in relative ease, and as someone married to a woman who served once in Afghanistan and twice in Iraq, I am glad we had this opportunity to remember and show support.

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  1. “Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes and the opportunities of fraud growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could reserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”