Sunday, November 09, 2008

Remembering ex-service personnel who are now homeless or trapped in the Criminal Justice System

As we remember those service men and women who have given their lives during past conflicts, I am left asking what we are planning to do about those who now find themselves homeless or in prison.

As a result of recent operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, many ex-service personnel and their families are today experiencing shattered lives, enduring massive mental trauma, physical disability and family breakdown.

Approximately 10,000 ex-service men are believed to be in prison. Many hundreds are sleeping rough on the streets of our cities. These statistics can only be viewed as a truly sad indictment of this country's recognition of the sacrifices they have all made.

Whilst applauding the good work of the Royal British Legion, other service charities and Regimental associations, having voluntarily given their lives as they did, surely it is time for us all to recognise the sacrifice these men and women have also made. With a meaningful partnership between government, service charities and society, the majority could be given back the pride they once felt and assisted back to full and product lives.

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