Five years after the crimes were committed, the army has apologised to the family of a military policewoman who committed suicide after a coroner said that rape and bullying by other soldiers were factors in the officer's death. This case has raised concerns about how such allegations are dealt with by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
One of the most common myths I want to debunk is that UAS are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan. Let me be clear, the majority of civilian deaths in Afghanistan are caused by insurgents, not UAS. In over 50,000 Reaper flying hours, there has only been one single operation that resulted in the deaths of civilians.
Labour is proud of our armed forces and we support the principle of integrating the reserves to play a larger role. But we're clear that reductions to the regular Army must only take place at a pace that allows adequate uplift in the reserves to meet the shortfall. Otherwise we are taking risks with our country's defence and security. And that's not an option.
My Grandfather tragically lost his friend on the battlefield and suffered from depression for the rest of his life, which rendered him unable to speak for the days surrounding 11 November. My Great Uncle was severely, severely shell shocked and as an additional complication, the PTSD triggered psychotic episodes during which there was an attempt to break into Buckingham Palace.
Like it or not, poppies no longer represent what they initially were created for. Every year we have remembrance services where those in power in the state talk about our military and giving thanks to their courage, whilst handily forgetting that when current soldiers often come back from tours of Afghanistan, it's up to charities to mend what's been broken.
I should probably point out that I'm not against the original meaning behind Poppy Day: remembering how Britain twice sent a whole generation of its young men off to be slaughtered, and that future generations should be able to live without the fear of enduring such violence. Yet that meaning often seems to get forgotten as Remembrance Sunday becomes a celebration of jingoism and militarism, where the victims of British aggression in wars past and present are rarely mentioned.