Dear Editor, What sadness it is to see so many of our soldiers returning home after being killed in action in Afghanistan.
They and their families richly deserve the thanks of the British people for putting their young lives on the line to safeguard our freedom from terrorist activity and the like.
They are only young chaps but what makes them and the thousands of our other young troops so different to the knife gangs that control parts of our major cities? Both groups “look out” for their fellow “comrades” and both are prepared to kill or die for their own.
Many of our troops will have come from similar backgrounds as our city knife gangs but have made that leap into a world of responsibility and maturity, citizens we can all be proud of and admire.
The knife gangs slink around in the shadows and play out their gang wars in a world which they believe owes them.
They are not prepared to put anything useful back into our society.
Many have come through their short lives with poor family discipline and failed education.
They have little or no real useful direction to their lives. Some will eventually go to prison and few will die on our city streets. The rest will meander through a meaningless life.
Surely the time is right to re-consider some form of “National Service” which could start as early as 15 years of age for those who have self opted out of the education system and who fail to contribute meaningfully to society?
I can hear the groans from some quarters but a solution has yet to be found for this unguided group.
This group requires discipline, education, life skills and more importantly a direction to their lives which is apparently not available in their current surrounds.
Our soldiers shine as a beacons, many still in their teens.
Can we not try and divert the knife gangs and other young disenchanted groups down such a responsible road as our young dedicate soldiers have chosen?
Not much else seems to be working.