Think yourself lucky

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Thank God we live in a democracy that allows people to voice their views without fear of recrimination, but we should remember that although this little island has not always held the moral high ground, our troops have and without their efforts we would not live in the free environment that all in this country now enjoy.

To protect himself from the public’s wrath he chooses to praise our much thought of emergency service workers, interesting that he does not include the police in his named list of heroes – maybe it would be a little too controversial to go that far - are they too not called upon to do heroic things, but fail to enjoy the good press of their fellow emergency service colleagues?

I have been a serving firefighter for twenty five years and feel insulted and embarrassed by Mr Andrews’ views that we are heroes who deserve praise above our armed forces.

Yes, firefighters are called upon from time to time to do dangerous and sometimes heroic things, but these are usually done after a great deal of risk assessment and are often based upon generic dangers.

A soldier for all his protection and body armour knows that he can be killed at any moment by a sniper’s bullet or an improvised explosive device.

It is a truly an heroic deed just to be able to do your job and to keep your own emotions under control when faced with such unknown dangers against what is an invisible and cowardly enemy.

My father fought in the second world war, an ordinary man called upon to do his duty, he eventually went on to test parachutes.

I would think leaping out of an aircraft with untested equipment would count as heroic, after that he went on to become part of the elite parachute regiment leaping out of aircraft under heavy enemy fire - still not heroic enough for you Mr Andrews?

You really do insult his memory! You are free to air your views but please do not comment on things you have no hands-on experience of, and keep reminding yourself just how lucky you are to live in a democracy however dim your views of it are.

EMBARRASSED FIREFIGHTER

(Name and address supplied)