The veteran population of the UK is declining rapidly. In 2005, there were 4.8million veterans in the UK. Today, there are 2.83million, and in 2020 there will be 2.48million. In the face of such significant demographic change, the Armed Forces charity sector will have to evolve in some fundamental ways.
The support our injured soldiers and bereaved families receive is unrecognisable from our predecessors and it is a comfort to a serving soldier now if he gets injured or he pays the ultimate sacrifice. He and his family will be looked after by a first rate support system providing both for them financially with lifelong help available if required.
This Sunday as I stand and hear the sermon, join the prayers and listen to the Last Post, I will be thinking of friends and colleagues with whom I served in Iraq and Afghanistan who did not come home, those whose funerals I attended, and I will be thinking of their families and loved ones for whom Remembrance is such a personal act.