As the readers of The Sun are no doubt fully aware, our Armed Forces are in the middle of another incredibly tough summer of fighting in Afghanistan.

As the readers of The Sun are no doubt fully aware, our Armed Forces are in the middle of another incredibly tough summer of fighting in Afghanistan.

Almost every day there are fresh reports of the challenges our servicemen and women face as they seek to restore peace and stability to that troubled country.

I am fortunate to hear occasionally from those in my regiments serving on operations and the reports I am receiving are cautiously optimistic and suggest that steady and meaningful progress is being made. The risks and sacrifices being made to deliver this progress deserve our constant admiration and gratitude.

But it is not just in Afghanistan that our Armed Forces are working so bravely and diligently on our behalf. Who could have foreseen the dramatic events in parts of North Africa, which have placed even greater demands upon our soldiers, sailors and airmen? 
They have risen to these new challenges magnificently, as they always do, and I am enormously proud to support them in whatever way I can.

These new challenges require an enormous team effort and the whole of the Armed Forces is involved in the "heavy lifting" required. 
The pilots and support crews of the Royal Air Force and the Army Air Corps are now flying missions into Libya alongside the aircraft, submarine and ships of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

There are now over 2,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen and women involved in this operation.

These new tasks combine with the demanding and enduring efforts of the Army battalions and units in Afghanistan. 
It is important to remember that the Navy is also operating in Afghanistan with its commando helicopter squadrons - a contribution that can sometimes be overlooked.

With 3 Commando Brigade in Helmand, a quarter of the British Forces serving there are from the Royal Navy - quite an achievement in a land-locked country and testament to the versatility of the Senior Service.

With my own sons serving in the Armed Forces and through regular meetings with Commanding Officers, with soldiers at medals parades, visits to units and recovery facilities for the wounded, my wife and I are able to have some idea of the challenges facing our troops and what our servicemen and women are doing for us.

We also meet Service families regularly and hear of the challenges they face; challenges which can often, in their own way, be just as daunting as those faced by their loved one.

Partners, parents, families and friends form the "home front" and they do a truly remarkable job - sustaining the morale of those on operations. Our veterans and the charity organisations also make up part of this "home front" and people from all sections of society come together to support our Forces.

Indeed, having been so impressed by the dedicated efforts of the British Legion bikers to support our troops, I recently invited over 60 leather-clad riders to bring their motor bikes to Clarence House so that their remarkable contribution could be given some recognition.

As operations in Afghanistan begin to draw down, our troops can return with their heads held high, and rightly so.  They have been making enormous sacrifices to keep us safe. But for many, their battles will continue when they get home.

Our troops need just as much bravery and determination when overcoming life-changing injuries, both mental and physical, as they do when facing the enemy in combat. And we can all help.

Now in its fourth year, the Sun's "Millies" recognise those truly remarkable cases of determination, grit and good humour that abound in our Armed Forces, and those organisations and individuals who help them in everything they do.

I am once again immensely proud to support these awards, as they go some way in paying the enormous debt of gratitude we owe those who serve this country so bravely and with such remarkable dedication and professionalism.