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'we say' THE PEOPLE: Merry Xmas to our boys.

IT will not be much of a Christmas for soldiers facing the hourly terrors of life on the frontline in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Nor is there much festive fun to be had in the deserts of Iraq, but at least it will be the last Christmas our troops have to spend there.

So The People supports any move which will bring our brave fighting men and women closer to their families at this time of year.

Which is why we congratulate Defence Secretary John Hutton for giving them Christmas presents of more video-link laptops and extra telephone time to phone home.

This newspaper has questioned some of the political decisions which got us into these wars in the first place.

But we have never wavered in our admiration and support for those who so courageously fight them.

Which is why Prime Minister Gordon Brown today chooses The People to send his own Christmas message to those battling abroad, and their families who keep the home fires burning.

This Christmas, spare a thought for those who are a long way from our shores.

And on the home front let us all make the best of what we have and put the recession to the back of our minds until the New Year.

We know it is too much to hope that those fighting on the frontline will have a merry Christmas.

But we pray that it is at least a safe one.
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Title Annotation:Leaders
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Dec 21, 2008
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