Dannatt: Our troops 'need appreciation'

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The Independent Online

The head of the Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, says many soldiers feel misunderstood by the public.

Sir Richard, who won praise from his men - and criticism from some politicians - when he called last month for British troops to leave Iraq soon, continued to speak frankly yesterday as he explained why the poems of Wilfred Owen strike a chord with service personnel. They did not want to be fêted, he said, merely appreciated.

The Chief of the General Staff will be among those reading the poet's works as part of Radio 3's Wilfred Owen Week, following Remembrance Day. "Owen's poems and letters... are a very important expression of what many soldiers feel: that what they're doing they understand, their mates with them understand, but the population, the families, those back home, don't," Sir Richard said.