BRITISH forces are now withdrawing from Iraq after a six-year campaign.

Had I been an MP in 2003, I would have voted against the Iraq War. Tony Blair's claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that his regime was assisting Al-Qaeda proved to be untrue.

I do, however, support the British mission in Afghanistan. It is fraught with danger, and the lasting solution is unclear, but there is no doubt that the country has provided a base to export terrorism.

Opinions differ on these two wars, but we should be united in admiration for our armed forces. They have consistently shown enormous professionalism and bravery.

I am proud to have 40 Commando Royal Marines based in my constituency and they are an inspiration for our community.

179 British soldiers have died in Iraq, and the casualty toll continues to grow in Afghanistan.

We should remember them, and we should also not forget the soldiers who have suffered life-changing injuries in the two conflicts. I hope to visit Headley Court soon, where the rehabilitation for severely wounded troops is undertaken, to show my gratitude and respect.

We owe a permanent debt to the soldiers who will never fully recover from their physical or mental wounds, and we must honour and support them as they seek to rebuild their lives.