I could not help noticing the '1000 yard stares' in this picture of a recent briefing of Ist Battalion The Welsh Guards officers and NCOs. in the field in Helmand, Afghanistan. It appeared in last Saturday's Telegraph in an article by Thomas Harding. (Click on the picture to see what I mean.)
These are the faces of those who pay the price for insufficient manpower, inadequate resources, too few helicopters and see friends and comrades killed and maimed. When they return home to their sub-standard Army Quarters , some will fall apart mentally and a disproportionate number will committ suicide over the next 15-20 years.
They do not need the cheering crowds on 'Welcome Back Parades''; nor the dignified silence in Wooton Basset as their coffins are borne through the town; nor even a national Armed Forces Day.
Like Queen Victoria's soldiers in The Crimea, 150 years ago, they need public outrage and a new Government that will not leave them, after 8 years of fighting, still under resourced, under manned and lacking the means to carry out the mission given them by their political masters on our behalf.