Those who fought in the First World War continue to be an inspiration to many of us. Their courage, their camaraderie, sometimes their stoical acceptance of events, meld into a quiet heroism that we can only admire and learn from.
For that is where real military history lies, in the hearts and memories of those who fought, wherever or whenever that was. If we listen to their stories, repeated again and again down the decades, we might learn how little war can achieve.
The quiet heroes are still with us, the Second World War veterans, of which fewer and fewer remain, and those who've served in conflicts around the world in the years since.
We must extend the same respect to all of those who have served in today's Armed Forces. Wherever they were stationed, whenever they leave their life of soldiering, however old they are – some will struggle as they face civilian life. We need to recognise this and we have a responsibility to ensure that, whatever their challenges, they have a place to call home. It's a fitting recognition of the sacrifices they have made and something of a tribute to those who served before them.
In pictures: Homeless Veterans appeal
In pictures: Homeless Veterans appeal
1/20 Glynn Barrell
Glyn Barrell is among the veterans hoping to benefit from the self-build scheme in Plymouth
2/20 Rachel Holliday
Rachel Holliday is converting a police station into a hostel
3/20 Androcles Scicluna
Veteran Androcles Scicluna says performing boosted his confidence
4/20 Christopher Cole
Christopher Cole, 51, from London, spent three years in the Army but left in 1982
5/20 Maurillia Simpson
Former servicewoman Maurillia Simpson with the medals she won at last year’s Invictus Games
Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard
6/20 Martin Rutledge
Head of The Soldiers’ Charity, Martin Rutledge, says charities sometimes allow emotion to dictate their choices
7/20 Ben Griffin
Ben Griffin wants to open people’s eyes to the cycle of political violence
8/20 Robin Horsfall
Robin Horsfall, who fought in the Falklands and helped end the Iranian embassy siege
9/20 Mark Hayward
A bed for the night and food helped Mark Hayward out of misfortune
10/20 Ashley Rosser
Ashley Rosser, who served in the RAF, at the Veterans Aid hostel in east London
11/20 Dave Henson
Britain's Invictus Games captain Dave Henson says veterans’ charities helped rebuild his life
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
12/20 Hugh Milroy
Hugh Milroy dispels myths about war-zone veterans through his work as the CEO of Veterans Aid
13/20 Andy MacFarlane and Julie Taylor
Former soldiers Andy MacFarlane and Julie Taylor work at the Jaguar Land Rover plant in Solihull under a covenant connecting veterans with employers
14/20 Mark McKillion
Mark McKillion's experience of living on the street eventually left him feeling as though the only way to escape was to end his life. He survived his desperate jump from Westminster Bridge, and VA's help has restored his "faith in humanity"
Nigel, a navy veteran, remembers living on the beach in the run-up to Christmas, when it rained every day for a week. He slept on a bench for seven years whilst suffering from Parkinson's disease.
16/20 Keith Cooper
Before Keith Cooper had his place confirmed at Avondale House in Newcastle, he was working out whether he could afford to buy a tent to live in
17/20 Simon Weston
Simon Weston, a Falklands War veteran, said even something as simple as a cup of tea can be an important step in getting the life of a homeless veteran back on track.
18/20 Ian Palmer, professor of military psychiatry
Ian Palmer, the first professor of military psychiatry to the British Armed Forces, says that the depiction of all ex-service personnel having post-traumatic stress disorder may stop people who really need help from getting it
19/20 Douglas Cameron
Evgeny Lebedev with Douglas Cameron, who had a hernia operation while serving in Burma
Johnnie Shand Kidd
20/20 Veterans Aid
General Sir Mike Jackson, President of ABF The Soldiers' Charity, called for donations to the Homeless Veterans appeal
The writing of War Horse was inspired by a veteran from the First World War, a generation now lost to us. Right now, we have a new generation to take care of, who still share that feeling of kinship and survival.
The Christmas truce match, or matches, that marked the Christmas of 1914, show the power of the human spirit to triumph. We take great comfort knowing that soldiers reached across No Man's Land and found kinship in the most unlikely situation.
The message of helping soldiers who find themselves in a kind of No Man's Land today is a powerful one, especially at this time of year. Donating to the Homeless Veterans Appeal can help prevent soldiers and veterans facing their own No Man's Land this Christmas.
Michael Morpurgo is the author of 'War Horse'Reuse content