Our busy lives sometimes mean we forget the brave and remarkable work performed every day by our armed forces around the world.
Our soldiers, sailors and airmen – and women – are the backbone of our national security.
In the past week, I’ve been reminded of the brilliant work they do, keeping us safe abroad.
I recently returned from Norway where I joined training exercises with the Royal Marines as part of my year’s work experience with the Royal Navy.
The intensive five-day exercise included building an outdoor survival shelter in the snow and a crash course in reconnaissance in sub-zero conditions.
It was a fantastic hands-on experience.
The Arctic scenery was breathtaking and it was brilliant to meet marines of all ranks from junior recruits to the brigade commander.
Their patriotism, sense of duty and work ethic are an example to us all.
News readers should have seen the full report on my trip in last Saturday’s paper, and it’s still online, including a day-by-day diary and an exclusive video blog.
Our armed forces personnel are not only heroes abroad, but at home too.
I was delighted to visit HMS President this week to meet reservists at a Royal Navy Reserve recruitment event.
Combining military service with civilian work, the reserves are an excellent organisation who work hard to keep our seas and shores safe.
I was also delighted to meet former Chief of the Defence Staff – and Emsworth resident – General Lord Richards at last Friday’s Havant Conservatives Supper Club.
Lord Richards was professional head of the armed forces from 2009-2013, and spoke eloquently about the dangerous and changing world in which we live and the vital role our troops perform in keeping us safe.
Following my successful Havant jobs and apprenticeships fair, with hundreds of local residents attending, I’ve already been contacted by employers who have hired local residents as a result.
News readers will be updated on how they get on in their new careers.
The Havant Small Business Awards 2016 were launched in The News this week, but nominations are now open through my website AlanMak.org.uk.
Please let me know your favourite local pub, café, shop and other favourites by April 1.
Thanks to all News readers for your continuing support.