It was a real privilege this evening to sit on a top table at the Civic Reception held in honour of HMS Chatham's visit to Chatham Maritime. I felt a real sense of pride in those I talked to this evening about their time on board a ship that is the latest in a long line of those to carry Chatham's name, and their sense of duty to Queen and Country is palpable. I was on a table with two women, both Able Seaman, and two Officers and the team work and family spirit of those who serve on board was evident, whilst still showing utter respect for rank. They were a credit to the Navy; polite, witty, intelligent, fascinating and utterly impartial in their political commentary.
As MPs we get offered an opportunity to learn more about the military by joining a scheme which allows us to serve time with which ever force we choose. I opted out this year, but having spent the evening with such nice but totally dedicated service men and women, I am seriously going to consider assigning myself to the Navy next year - I now want to know and learn more and witness the team and family at work.