This is the first post of The Afghanistan Series that will, over the coming months, introduce readers to important and largely non-mainstream literature regarding Western intervention in Afghanistan.
Next time you receive a present you're not happy with or a sibling causes an argument over the Christmas dinner or you are made to go out of your way for a crazy grandparent, realise how lucky you are to have these things and cherish every Christmas you spend with your family.
Away, serving their country overseas. Whether that is in the Falkand Islands, one of the small detachments in the Gulf, on board a ship somewhere or in the very worst place... Afghanistan.
Whilst we remember those heroes who have been killed in action, let us too remember those currently engaged in conflict at home and overseas.
Can you recall a single thing about John Major other than he ate peas and tucked his shirts into his underwear? Well, remember this: you gave £1.7 million to just three ex-PM's in the past five years, people who are not known to be in dire need of a state handout, and he was one of them.
At a time when the UK is crying out for jobs, the coalition government's lack of conviction over the future of defence manufacturing and its technology base is a desperate indictment of short-term thinking.
The government is dealing with the black hole by cutting £5 billion from the budget, with just over 20,000 posts going - less than the total size of the Territorial Army.