Patrick Christys: Our military heroes fight for us, maybe we need to do more to fight for them

A third of our 80,000 servicemen and women are living in ‘poor grade accommodation’, some have described their homes as being riddled with damp, stinking of urine and infested with mould

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I want to highlight something that I think slipped under the radar a little bit, as often seems to be the case when it comes to our military heroes.

It’s emerged that we’re forcing thousands of military families to live in squalor, in properties that, in some cases, have actually been condemned.

A third of our 80,000 servicemen and women are living in ‘poor grade accommodation’, some have described their homes as being riddled with damp, stinking of urine, absolutely filthy and infested with mould.

Basically, they’re unliveable. In some cases, they were handed leaflets advising them on how to deal with legionnaires disease, damp and asbestos. I wouldn’t let my dog live these conditions.

The average annual salary for Privates in the UK armed forces was £20,400, compared with £27,326 for a Lance Corporal, £35,853 for a Sergeant and £42,849 for a Captain. Which is not a huge amount of money considering the job they do.

In some cases, these military heroes were told "don’t worry, you don’t have to pay any rent" because their homes were so awful.

What an absolute disgrace this is. "Private Smith, would you mind very much running towards that armed jihadi while he tries to shoot your face off? Can you dismantle that bomb for me? Just jump out of that helicopter and into a hail of bullets".

This is the kind of thing our armed forces personnel do, and the whole time it turns out they have to worry about whether or not their child might be sat at home getting a lung infection because of the rising damp throughout their house. One army wife said she reported a leaky boiler, it took them five weeks to come and fix it, by which time part of her ceiling had caved in.

I think we have to face facts here. It’s all well and good for Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to come out and say "we’re investing £200m in housing for military personnel" but the reality is this: If an army wife travelled to Calais, bought a dinghy and set off across the Channel, her and her family would be in a four star hotel by tea time.

But if you’re sent to fight and die for this country, you and your family will probably end up in a mould infested cesspit with rats for company. I reckon our Defence Secretary has a nice house, in fact he’s probably got a couple.

Would he live in this accommodation? Absolutely not. Well if he wouldn’t, then neither should any of our military heroes.

What’s the incentive to join our military now? You won’t be well paid, you and your family will live in dire conditions, when you leave the armed forces you’re supposed to be given priority social housing and mental health care according to the military covenant, which might as well be written on toilet roll because that’s what it’s worth.

Our military heroes are just that, heroes. They go and fight for us, well maybe we need to do more to fight for them.