SAS hero defends Falklands War on anniversary of conflict’s end

An SAS hero has defended the Falklands War on the anniversary of the end of the controversial conflict.

Brave Corporal Mark Aston was one of just nine survivors when the Army helicopter he was in crashed into the freezing waters of the South Atlantic Ocean.

He then defied medical orders over a potential broken neck to return to battle and help his mates win the war with Argentina, which came to an end on June 14, 1982.

In total 904 people died in the dispute over the British Overseas Territory, including 255 British military personnel.

But Cpl Aston insists he and his troops were right to fight for the group of islands some 8,700 miles away as he hit out at anyone calling it an "unjust" war.

He said: "All these years later I have no misgivings about the legality or rightfulness of the war.

"You can't just go and take things that don't belong to you, which is what the Argentinians did.

"They wanted to be British and they still want to be British, that was made abundantly clear in the referendum in 2013."

The vote in 2013 saw 99/8% of islands voting to remain a British territory on a turnout of 92%, with only three people voting against.

Despite being seriously injured in a tragic helicopter crash which killed 22 of his colleagues, Cpl Aston was determined to return to the action.

He said winning the war was the most important objective, adding: "I couldn't have lived with myself if anything else bad had happened."

Describing the moment his life was hanging in the balance, Cpl Aston said: "It was horrendous. You think you're going to die then afterwards you realise how lucky you are.

"I'm definitely one of the lucky ones, not just because I survived but I also have no flashbacks and no PTSD."

He was saved when a wave crashed against the wreckage of the helicopter, creating an air pocket for him to escape out of.

Regarding the controversy surrounding the war, Cpl Aston said: "We knew we were 100% in the right. That hasn't always been the case with conflicts Britain has been involved with.

"It can make a difference to the soldiers involved.

"We never saw public displeasure from people in the Falklands, it was obvious they were behind us."

SAS: Sea King Down, written by Cpl Mark Aston and former Army colonel turned bestselling author Stuart Tootal, is out now published by Penguin.

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