British troops are dying. That is a fact. There is seldom a week goes by without a young troop being killed by an IED in Afghanistan.
British troops do not patrol alone. For every soldier killed scores more are wounded. It is easy to imagine a wounded soldier. He is propped up on a crutch, smoking a gasper and smiling at a young attractive nurse. It's an image easy to conjure up. It allows us to focus our grief toward the dead soldiers family. It is however a fallacy.
When an IED detonates it tears limbs away from the bodies of those near by. Those too close are so badly hurt they die. Despite their best efforts the Army's medics cannot save everyone. But our medics are good. They work desperately hard to save the lives of those - who despite appaling injury - have a chance to live.
The wounded soldier is often blind, limbless, burnt or beyond recognition. He wont often make the news unless the Main Stream find a human element. But his friends and colleagues will move heaven and earth so that he might breathe one more lungful of air.
This Government has commited our troops to two wars. The wounded are not high on their list of priorities for re-election. We have but one Military Hospital to look after our wounded.
I would urge you to ask those who will soon be knocking on your door for a vote, what their party intends to do for our wounded. For those in power our wounded are inconvenient - but we owe our wounded more than we can ever hope to repay... ...and that's the truth