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Largan column: 'Our Armed Forces and veterans have given so much to this country'

In his latest column, High Peak MP Robert Largan writes about the importance of remembering and supporting the brave men and women who have served our country ahead of Armed Forces Day on Saturday.

We all have a chance to take a moment to reflect and think about the brave men and women who serve our country as we mark Armed Forces Week. Our security and prosperity depend on the amazing work done by our Armed Forces personnel around the world today and across the generations.

It was good to join Paul Hardy, Mayor of High Peak, and others to raise a flag for Armed Forces Day in Norfolk Square in Glossop. A flag was also raised in Buxton to observe this important day.

I am glad that High Peak is one of the local councils that mark the day with a proper flag raising ceremony. Our Armed Forces and our veterans have given so much to this country. I am really proud to stand up for them in Parliament.

That is why I am giving my full backing to enshrining the Armed Forces Covenant into law, recognising the incredible sacrifice and dedication of our Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families. The Queen’s Speech delivered in May promised to introduce legislation to do this and I will be scrutinising it very closely.

This Government is committed to modernising the Armed Forces, ensuring they can meet the challenges and threats facing the country. Through an extra £24.1 billion, our national defence will get its largest boost in 30 years. As a result of this funding, the Armed Forces will benefit from cutting-edge technology in cyber, space, and shipbuilding.

The manifesto I stood on also pledged several policies to help veterans of our Armed Forces. A forthcoming bill will cut National Insurance contributions for employers who hire ex-Service personnel, providing a possible saving of £5,500 per veteran.

A new Veterans’ Railcard has been launched, reducing fares for people who have served their country. Underpinning this work, a new Office for Veterans’ Affairs has been launched.

Amidst the pandemic, we were reminded that veterans still have a role to play in serving their country and local communities. Captain Sir Tom Moore embodied this spirit of public service, inspiring people to go out and do their bit to help.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal British Legion. That is a century of supporting our Armed Forces and veterans in the aftermath of one of the most devastating conflicts in human history.

While it is right that we honour the Armed Forces this week, we must always remember what these extraordinary people have done for us. As a community, there are always ways in which we can work together to give the Armed Forces our full thanks and support.

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