Armed Forces Minister James Heappey was emotional as he reflected on 20 years since the start of UK operations in Afghanistan after a remembrance ceremony marking the anniversary.
Mr Heappey, a former Army officer who served in Afghanistan, appeared to choke up when saying he saw names of people he knew on the Bastion Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, adding: "They're people that I remember on the morning of their death."
Speaking after a service at the East Staffordshire site, Mr Heappey said: "It's hard. As the trumpeter was blowing Last Post, in my eye line were names from my regiment on the tour following me.
"They're not names on the war memorial in my village, which are from wars of 50 and 100 years ago.
"They're people that I remember on the morning of their death. They're people that I served alongside."
A wreath-laying ceremony to mark 20 years since the start of UK operations was also held at the Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial in central London.
One-hundred and fifty-thousand members of the UK Armed Forces served in Afghanistan since 2001, including 457 who lost their lives.