Last week in the House of Commons the Prime Minister paid tribute to Sergeant Matt Tonroe of the Parachute Regiment who was killed on March 29. This was the first death of British service personnel in Syria since an international coalition launched operations against the Daesh, or ISIL, four years ago. As the Prime Minister said, Sergeant Tonroe, who was only 33, ‘fought to protect British values, our freedoms and to keep this country safe’. Since 9/11, our engagement in the war on terror, Iraq and Afghanistan has cost the lives of 1,145 service personnel and another 288 civilians. But there were also 591 very serious or serious injuries of service personnel in Afghanistan alone.
We owe a great debt to our veterans, and should make sure that they receive the support they deserve. The Government has considerably stepped up in this regard, introducing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2011, and is committed to improving the co-ordination of government services to veterans, including housing, employment and mental health services.