A variety of heroes who all deserve our thanks

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Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and today we are proud to pay tribute to three different breeds who come from all areas of society.

Amid all the doom and gloom of modern life, it is refreshing to be able to report on those who make our existence more bearable, those who make us just more than a little humble.

First up are the soldiers of 33 Field Hospital. They returned to their Gosport base yesterday after spending six months saving lives in Afghanistan.

And in the home of the Royal Navy it was fantastic to see such a great turnout by the public to welcome the troops whose skills are so desperately needed in the war-ravaged country.

Their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Steve Archer, says there was a 20 per cent reduction in the number of casualties with which they dealt ‘but the complexity of the cases remained the same’.

Those of us back home leading our cosy little lives, where the only problem is choosing which pizza to buy from the supermarket, ought to remember what the men and women of 33 Field Hospital see on active service – the most horrendous injuries.

And so we move to the second category, the workers at BAE Systems maritime.

Yesterday they handed over a corvette to the Royal Navy of Oman, the second of three such warships ordered by the Gulf state.

By all accounts they have done a sterling job, displaying the modern skills which have done so much to put Portsmouth back on the shipbuilding map.

More importantly, they are skills which need to be kept firmly in the government’s eye as we continue to fight to retain a warship-building capability in this city.

And last, but by no means least, take a look at the list of 60 nominees in the 10 categories which comprise our We Can Do It Awards 2013 .

It is 13 years since we launched these much-loved awards in which we honour ordinary people for doing something extraordinary.

Soldiers, shipbuilders, We Can Do It nominees – we salute you all.