Friday, June 06, 2008

Almost 1000 have left Armed Forces

Almost a thousand servicemen have left the Armed Forces since the start of the year, prompting fears for the safety of troops serving in
Iraq and Afghanistan.

Government figures released on Thursday showed that the number of full-time trained personnel leaving the services had accelerated.

From January to April 1, provisional figures showed that staff levels had fallen from 174,910 to 173,960, leaving the Armed Forces more than 5,000 troops short of its own target. The casualty rate in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the 97th soldier died this week, and the low pay of infantry soldiers have been identified as factors persuading recruits to leave early.

The latest losses represent a significant increase in the rate of departure from the Armed Forces. In the period between last October and January this year, the number of full-time service personnel increased by 130. The figures follow a report by the Commons Defence Committee, which said earlier this year that it was “deeply concerned” that the Armed Forces had been operating above the level of their resources for seven of the past eight years.

Of course soldiers are leaving. It’s a wonder a lot more haven’t left the armed forces after the treatment they receive from the government. Injured soldiers who can no longer fight are frequently given a pittance for their services. Jon Le Galloudec was left severely crippled by a sniper. For his sacrifice he was given just £35,000, probably just enough to survive on for 2-3 years. After that he can live a destitute life for all the government care.

The government treats our injured soldiers so badly that charities have to step in to actually provide the care that soldiers need. These charities don’t get enough money from the government, that’s if they get any money at all.

The armed forces rehabilitation centre recently raised £1m from a 350 mile fundraising ride from the battlefields of northern France to the Cenotaph in central London. While raising money is a good thing they shouldn’t have to do it for injured soldiers. The government should be eternally grateful for the sacrifices that these brave soldiers made in fighting wars that this government started and that these soldiers were crippled in. It’s not much to ask to provide the care that is needed.

No comments: