Government needs to act posthaste on troops’ cards

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Has it come to this? How bad can things be when a caring woman can’t even send cards to our servicemen and women in Afghanistan?

Those responsible for the decision to prevent Barbara Stainer from doing so should hang their heads in shame.

We appreciate that there must be priorities in the transport of goods and material to and from Afghanistan.

But it beggars belief that room cannot be found for cargoes of kindness such as that until now despatched by the Waterlooville pensioner.

For some time now, Barbara has been sending out hundreds of blank greetings cards every year. She and others who give up their time to help with the service know that those cards will come back to Britain as birthday and other greetings to loved ones. Many of them are received by the children of servicemen.

Think of the joy experienced by little one getting a card from the daddy who is so far away.

Think of the comfort experienced by servicemen in knowing that someone cares enough to send those blank cards and that a child will be thrilled to get one.

Sadly, those responsible for cutting off the supply don’t seem to have thought of these at all.

Perhaps the cards will still anyway get through thanks to the charity Support Our Soldiers, but that doesn’t take away from the crassness of the decision that the Ministry of Defence cannot possibly cope with them.

We’ve heard enough of servicemen and women having inadequate supplies of basic comforts in Afghanistan.

Instead of writing a letter to Havant MP David Willetts explaining why his constituent’s cards cannot be transported, defence minister Peter Luff should be expediting their transfer without delay.

Contact with people back home is hugely important for those who are serving our country in the dangerous environment of Afghanistan.

Let’s see some action by the Government to show it is fully behind helping that.