Most UK troops ‘thought it was a lost cause ten years ago’, ex-soldier Joe Glenton told a Westminster press conference yesterday before handing back his Veteran’s Badge Medal to Downing Street as a protest against the Afghan war.
Glenton was jailed for nine months for refusing to serve in an unjust war.
He was joined yesterday by Joan Humphries, who lost her grandson, Kevin Elliot, in Afghanistan, Linzi Paige whose son served there, and Mandy Sylvester, whose son is currently serving in Afghanistan.
They handed in a letter to Cameron, calling on the government to bring the troops home now.
Joan Humphries told the press conference: ‘My grandson was killed on 31st August last year.
‘It is so important that our troops are brought home now.
‘The chief of defence staff has admitted they can’t defeat the Taleban.
‘Our troops should be withdrawn immediately.’
Former Lance Corporal Glenton told the press conference: ‘I came home from prison and I looked at my veteran’s medal.
‘I’d been jailed for raising my views. I thought taking my medal back would be a symbolic protest gesture.
‘I’ve brought my passport – it seems Downing Street is another country.’
In answer to questions, he said: ‘Most of the soldiers I’m in contact with support me.
‘I elected to serve this country and I feel I was not.
‘I’m opposed to the war.’
Referring to the NATO conference, he added: ‘It’s a great thing to be sitting in Lisbon – the answer to this problem lies in Afghanistan.
‘I’m getting a lot of support from the military.’
Mary Sylvester told the press conference: ‘My son is serving in Afghanistan.
‘The more I look into it, the more disillusioned I become as to why our troops are out there.
‘I’m speaking to about 50 parents of paras at the moment.
‘The issues that come up are soldiers have just finished their training and they are sent out there.
‘I want the war to finish.’