John Andrews should be ashamed of his forces letter

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I would like to respond to the letter ‘Modern–day soldiers are not genuine heroes’ submitted by John Andrews on June 10, 2011. I should point out that I am an ex-soldier who served 22 years and retired from the Army in 2007. I now live with my family in Grantham.

First of all I would like to say that if Mr Andrews were to actually meet any of the modern-day soldiers he refers to, he would see that these soldiers do not consider themselves as ‘heroes’ either, and believe the job that they do to be their duty.

Far from being ‘brutalised youngsters’ or ‘children in uniform’ the modern soldier is a professional, well rounded, highly trained and highly motivated individual who has been given the best possible training by the best trainers in any modern Army in the world today.

They emerge from this training with a deep-rooted sense of comradeship and with a set of values instilled that makes them put others before themselves in trying conditions.

I agree that heroes can be found in all of the emergency services and that the public should be grateful for the hard work carried out by the services that sometimes see them put in life- endangering situations, and still doing an amazing job.

However, to say that ‘the modern military has produced almost no real heroes’ is misguided, misinformed and foolish.

Soldiers do not seek out recognition and public praise but are grateful and appreciative when it is granted to them, and it often helps them get through tough times knowing the public is behind them.

No British soldier in the modern Army has come up against and ‘slaughtered hopelessly weak armies or defenceless civilians in their hundreds of thousands’. This is also a foolish statement.

I believe that Mr Andrews is wrong. I believe that the modern-day soldiers serving in the Army are heroes and deserve to be called heroes.

I am also sure that the majority of those living in Grantham who read Mr Andrews letter also believe them to be heroes for the tough job they do and the danger they put themselves in to ensure the safety of the nation and that Mr Andrews should hang his head in shame.

F McGuinness

Signal Road, Grantham