“Every year, I attend the Remembrance Day memorial at Bridge Foot, to remember those who have served to protect this country. This is something which is very close to my heart, and without the sacrifices made, many of us would not be here today.
This year I made the decision to join the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS), a privately-run scheme which exists to increase awareness for MP’s like myself, to the role of the Armed Forces. This is split in to three sub divisions; The British Army, The Royal Air Force and The Royal Navy.
This week I have spent two days at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom at Shrivenham.
Personally, I am supportive of the crucial role that the Armed Forces play in protecting our country; and with politics completely set aside, I support any individuals who choose to join and serve. The choice is very personal to those individuals and I believe in making their choice, they are doing this in the best interests of protecting our country, families, friends and loved ones.
I believe it is a very altruistic decision, one which comes with great responsibility and great risk; sometimes being deployed abroad to help people in areas of conflict, or provide lifesaving aid and assistance to areas affected by natural disasters.
What is often reported in the media may not always be the best source of accurate information and on such issues, people in positions like myself may have to make difficult decisions. For me, I think it is essential that I understand the challenges our service personnel face and learn from their shared experiences and perspectives.
As part of the scheme I have committed a minimum of 15 days and will be visiting bases and personnel across the UK and abroad where possible. I can honestly say this is something which I am looking forwards to, and can’t wait to see what happens behind the scenes, experience a glimpse of their daily life (as limited as it may be) and get to sit side by side with some of the local heroes who have enlisted and listen to their real-life stories”