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Government should take more pride in our forces

Last Sunday night, I watched a programme on BBC2 entitled Harry's Arctic Heroes about four disabled veterans from the war in Afghanistan who bravely accepted the challenge to walk over 200 miles of frozen terrain to the North Pole.

Now I am not a royalist, but I could not have been more impressed when these brave ex-soldiers were accompanied for the first four days by Prince Harry. Here was a man from the Royal family, sharing the companionship of ordinary squaddies, one with a stump of an arm, another with the stump of a leg, dragging a heavily-laden sled across the frozen waste of the arctic.

Using their skis as bridges to cross fissures in the ice, each carried out his task - disabled or not - with no help asked, but given voluntarily when the circumstances demanded.

Ironically, on the front page of the Sunday newspaper I buy, was the headline: 'Troops' morale at rock-bottom'.

How can the government expect anyone to take pride in the country when the armed forces that are laying down their lives to protect it are now being made redundant?

The members of the Army, Navy and RAF, are loyal volunteers; each also costs the taxpayer thousands of pounds to train. Such expertise is being wasted. Britannia may at one time have ruled the waves, but it's now gangsterism that rules the country. Some of those who govern are to blame.

HARRY STEPHENSON

Kircubbin, Co Down

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