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Jacquie Bell joins British Legion : Time to Do Your Bit Campaign

October 28, 2009 9:40 AM

Jacquie with Royal British Legion manifestoJacquie writes :

As Poppy Day approaches there is not just remembrance of those who died in the 2 World Wars but also more recent memories of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of the latter more than 100 families are still waiting for inquests to be held.

Important at this time is the work of the British Legion. At the party conference in Bournemouth I signed their "Time to Do Your Bit" pledge.

The Liberal Democrats have been campaigning on the Military Covenant and believe that we can go further as a nation to honour the Duty of Care towards our service personnel.

The Time to Do Your Bit campaign regards many issues including welfare provision for personnel and their families, care for the bereaved and support for veterans.

Successive governments have failed to provide basic welfare support to service personnel and families. There have been too many reports of poor accommodation and inadequate welfare supports.

Service personnel are on longer, more frequent and more intensive tours than ever in recent history. Critical overstretch is having an impact on front line capability but also on morale and on families at home.

The Government must ensure that service personnel and their families have the support they need.

The Liberal Democrat Shadow Defence Secretary, Nick Harvey has produced a paper -"Our Nations Duty" setting priorities to put personnel at the heart of any new strategic defence and security review, to upgrade accommodation and to improve access to supports for families.

My son is a serving member of the RAF who has been in the Gulf and Iraq. Thus I know at first hand the pressure our forces are under.

I will continue to support a better deal for service personnel and their families.