Stewart McDonald MP, and SNP Defence Spokesperson, wrote in today's Daily Record about the tragic loss of life amongst servicemen and women who feel so neglected by the system that they end their own life:
"I have written before about the need for politicians to get their collective act together and properly support our armed forces. Progress is being made, but it is often chronically slow and can sometimes feel like every two steps forward is matched with two steps back.
"We ask our servicemen and women to place themselves in war zones and areas of deep and complex conflict around the world. They answer that call, and do so with a sense of duty and service that we should all take the time to pay tribute to – particularly on this the 100th year since end of the Great War.
"There is much work to be done on housing, pay, working conditions and more. However one area that requires urgent cross-party attention is the rate of suicides amongst those who have served. Disgracefully, the MoD doesn’t record these numbers. This cannot continue.
"As the SNP’s defence spokesperson I will work with politicians of any party, at both Westminster and Holyrood, to see that this changes. The MoD is undertaking some work to start putting this right, but it requires a great deal of political will if we are to be honest about where things are going wrong and how we put them right.
"Suicide is always tragic and devastating. When our own servicemen and women, having gone to the battlefield, feel so neglected by the MoD that ending their life seems like their only option then it is a deeply shameful failure on all of us.
"They deserve better. They deserve the best care that the state is able to offer. Let’s honour them in actions, not just words."