Showing posts with label UK veteran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UK veteran. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

UK: Homeless veteran has way to make positive changes

Homeless army veteran gifted bicycle by Essex Police

Epping Forest Guardian UK
By Lewis Berrill
May 26, 2020

“I finally feel as though my life is beginning to get back on track. It’s now up to me to push myself and make positive changes.” 

34-year-old army veteran Jaime was gifted a bike by Essex Police. Photo: Essex Police

Jamie had been sleeping on the streets after leaving the armed forces but with the support of military veteran charity Project Nova has been housed in emergency accommodation in Grays.
On Monday, May 18 the 34-year-old veteran asked the charity to help him find a push bike.
Project Nova launched an appeal and within 48 hours, Detective Inspector Rob Staples and Inspector Matt Crow of Essex Police located one in Harlow.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

UK Ret. Major wants all veterans screened for PTSD

Screen war veterans for PTSD to end 'tragedy' of suicides, retired major demands

The Mirror
BySean Rayment
25 JAN 2020
EXCLUSIVE: Retired Major Richard Streatfeild spoke out after Jamie Davis, 30, took his own life, making him the fourth rifleman from the same unit to do so

Maj Streatfeild, who was awarded an MBE for his service in Afghanistan, claimed defence chiefs are too frightened to screen for PTSD “because of what they might find and the impact it would have on recruitment and retention”.

Retired Major Richard Streatfeild wants all war veterans to be screened for PTSD (Image: Adam Gerrard/Sunday Mirror)

A former officer who saw his troops dragged through hell in Afghanistan today demands Government action on PTSD after the suicide of yet another hero.

Retired Major Richard Streatfeild wants all war veterans to be screened for post-traumatic stress disorder in a bid to save hundreds left feeling suicidal.

He spoke after Jamie Davis, 30 – who served with A Company, 4 Rifles – took his own life this month.

Maj Streatfeild – who has battled post-traumatic stress himself – said: “Jamie is now the fourth Rifleman from A Company from my two years in command 10 years ago to have died at home, not abroad, in similar tragic circumstances.

“Almost as many as were killed on operations. A figure that is fast becoming a stain on post-operational care.”

Jamie was the first veteran to have died this year and is the 160th former soldier to have committed suicide since January 2018.
read it here

Monday, December 30, 2019

UK Veterans 'betrayed and abandoned' by the Government

Heroes' pension betrayal: Savings scam sanctioned in Whitehall could cost military veterans up to £50,000 each and force them to work into their eighties to recoup their losses

Daily Mail
30 December 2019
Tens of thousands of pensioners have lost up to £10billion between them Armed forces now face working into their eighties despite suffering trauma They said they had been 'betrayed and abandoned' by the Government
Forces veterans have had their futures ruined by a Government-sanctioned pension scam.

Although some are still suffering trauma from tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, they now face working into their eighties after losing nest eggs worth up to £50,000.

They said they had been 'betrayed and abandoned' by the Government which registered the rogue scheme but now refuses to help.
read it here

Sunday, December 15, 2019

A homeless war veteran 'took his own life' after feeling 'lost' in the UK

Homeless war veteran, 29, 'took his own life' after feeling 'lost' when he left the Army and spending a year 'sofa surfing' with friends

Daily Mail
December 2019

Wayne Green, 29, was found dead in a friend's flat after receiving 'no help'
He was discharged four months into training for the Duke of Lancaster regiment
Heartbroken father Wayne Snr, 52, said it had been his dream to join the army
A homeless war veteran 'took his own life' after feeling 'lost' when he left the Army and spending a year 'sofa surfing' with friends.

Wayne Green, 29, from Bolton, 'received no help' from the army after he was discharged four months into his training for the Duke of Lancaster regiment in Catterick, near Darlington.

His heartbroken father Wayne Snr, 52, said his son was putting up pylons before realising his dream of joining the armed forces in 2017.
Wayne Green, 29, from Bolton, was found dead at a friend's flat after receiving 'no help' from the armed forces

Mr Green's body was found at a friend's flat last month. An inquest is set for June next year.

Wayne's father told The Sunday Mirror that after his son came back from the army, it was as though he could not 'accept he'd left'.
As many as 35,000 veterans could be homeless this Christmas.
read it here

Friday, May 27, 2016

Veteran Struggling to Bring Home Dog He Saved In Iraq

Veteran Struggling to Bring Home Dog He Saved from Death in Iraq
Kelly Bender
May 27, 2016

“If she survives and I am able to get her out of Iraq she will come to the U.K. or Spain with me and my family,” he vowed. “She will not be going anywhere else.”Former Marine Alex Cairnie is already Warpaws' savior, now he wants to be the stray puppy's dad.

According to The Express, Cairnie, 39, found the pup on Saturday suffering on the streets of Basra, Iraq, in the searing heat. Warpaws, the name Cairnie, who was a Royal marine commando from 1997-2004, gave the dog, was covered in matted fur, glue and ticks. The tiny, white pup was also severely malnourished, dehydrated and unable to walk.
read more here

Sunday, February 7, 2016

UK Veteran Sleeps In Car, Syrian Refugees Get Housing?

Awesome update to this story
Kind-hearted former soldier offers war hero home after he was left living in car for 6 MONTHS

War veteran homeless and sleeping in car
Coventry Telegraph
By Mike Lockley
7 FEB 2016
The father of three, who joined the Irish Guards at the tender age of 16, has served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosova, twice in Iraq – and three times in Afghanistan.
Veteran of two wars Richard Storer who says he is homeless and being forced to sleep in his car
A veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has been living in his car for six weeks after being made homeless.

Richard Storer, from Solihull , tormented by the horrors he witnessed during a 21-year army career, burrows deep into a sleeping bag on the back seat of his battered VW Golf each night.

Occasionally, if he is lucky, he is able to doss down on a friend’s sofa but that is the exception to the rule.

The 41-year-old, wrapped tight against winter’s bite, has become a familiar sight in Lea Village, on the outskirts of Chelmsley Wood.

The ex-corporal, invalided out of the Army with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder last June, says his country has forgotten him.
“I don’t expect special treatment,” he said. “I don’t expect special treatment because I fought for this country, I just want what’s right.

“But I recently saw a programme about Syrian refugees, and it said 80 per cent of those shown had been given homes.
read more here

Sunday, January 17, 2016

UK Veterans Battle Gulf War Syndrome

Charity Urges Action Over Gulf War Syndrome 
January 17, 2016
Suggested causes have included depleted uranium used in weapons, sarin gas, smoke from burning oil wells, vaccinations and combat stress.
Little is known about the causes of the syndrome but Gulf veterans report symptoms up to three times the rate of other veterans.

The Royal British Legion is calling for more help for veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome amid concerns that up to 33,000 could be affected.

The charity wants the Government to carry out more research into illnesses linked the 1991 Gulf War, in which 53,462 Britons served.

"We still do not know how to effectively treat Gulf War Illnesses," said the charity, which was speaking as the 25th anniversary of the start of the war is marked this weekend.

Acute and chronic fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems, rashes and diarrhoea are some of the symptoms of the syndrome.

The charity points to research that shows Gulf War veterans report such symptoms at two to three times the rate of other veterans, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder.
read more here

Friday, January 30, 2015

Surf's Up For UK Triple Amputee

Triple Amputee Veteran Martin Pollock Now Surfs With The Best Of Them 
The Huffington Post
By Carla Herreria
Posted: 01/29/2015
After an improvised explosive devise took both of Martin Pollock's legs and part of his left arm in 2010, he did everything he could to get his active lifestyle back.

Pollock was 26 years old and serving as a rifleman in Afghanistan for the British Army when the explosion happened. He went home to England as a triple amputee and tried to carry on with normal life. He bought a car and a house. He went to the gym. He continued to work on his walking. He was determined to be as active as he possibly could, but "I had no real plans for anything in particular," he told The Huffington Post.

One of his biggest challenges, Pollock said, was getting his prosthetics to fit properly. "I spent 2 1/2 years trying to get my leg sockets to fit into the prosthetics," he said. "It's the most important part to be able to walk. If the socket is no good, nothing else matters."

At the beginning of one of Pollock's routine rehab visits in 2012, he heard about a sponsored trip to California hosted by Operation Surf, a nonprofit that assists the rehabilitation of wounded active duty servicemen through adaptive surfing. read more here

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

‘Hidden Wounds': Battling PTSD With Music

‘Hidden Wounds': Battling PTSD With Music
TIME Light Box
Olivier Laurent
November 11, 2014
“We’re currently losing more veterans to suicide than to enemy action. If you ever confront another veteran and they tell you they never thought about killing themselves, they’re lying.” – Steven Diaz, veteran of the 2003 Iraq War

With millions of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Dutch writer Arnold van Bruggen and filmmaker Tomas Kaan were looking for a way to raise awareness of the issue among younger people. “People in their twenties and thirties are more likely to have friends, neighbors, cousins, nieces, schoolmates who came back from war or from a military mission,” says van Bruggen. “They are the people who should be more aware of PTSD and what many veterans are going through. They could be the first-response team, so to speak.”

So when they came across “Hidden Wounds,” a song by the Dutch rock band dEUS, “the idea of a documentary immediately popped up,” says van Bruggen. The song tells the true story of an English war veteran, Jimmy Johnson, who, after serving in the British Army in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, saw his marriage disintegrate. He started drinking “and during a panic attack, brought on by a sudden, intense noise, he murdered an innocent man,” says van Bruggen. “He spent years in prison and, shortly after his release, killed again.” Johnson, who pleaded guilty on both counts, has spent his time in prison spearheading a campaign to raise awareness around the issue of PTSD.

“When we started working to transform the story of the song into a documentary, we originally wanted to make a longer documentary on Jimmy Johnson and tear the song apart,” says van Bruggen. “But Johnson is still in a high security jail in Northern England, so there was no way we could film him properly.”

Instead, van Bruggen and Kaan decided to make Johnson’s story more universal. “We started looking for veterans in the Netherlands, Belgium, the U.K. and the United States.” Their goal was to bring together these veterans’ individual stories in a bid to show how commonplace and devastating PTSD had become.
read more here

Monday, September 8, 2014

British soldiers with PTSD turning to Whisper

Soldiers turn to anonymous app to share PTSD struggles
Channel 4 News
September 8, 2014

Dozens of members and veterans of the British armed forces are turning to new anonymous apps to share their struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, Channel 4 News has found.

Dozens of British soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder are using the Whisper app, which allows people to post anonymous messages and pictures, Channel 4 News has found.

Whisper functions like an anonymous social network and it is being used by current and former members of the forces to post messages such as: "I saw my best mate blown up by an IED... Then my girlfriend says my PTSD is in my head."

The charity Combat Stress has told Channel 4 News that it is now considering a more pro-active approach to reach out to the members of the armed forces and veterans who post to apps like Whisper.

One serving member who posted a message about PTSD to the app told Channel 4 News: "I feel I should not go looking for sympathy, nor sharing my stories. I find it hard talking about it and wish not to make it worse."
read more here

Monday, July 14, 2014

UK Veteran PTSD Diagnosed 5 Fold Increase

Wounded war heroes have increased by 200 per cent, official figures show
Express UK
John Ingham
July 14, 2014

BRITAIN'S wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have helped trigger a 200 per cent increase in military wounded over five years, official figures revealed today.

The casualties include a five-fold increase in soldiers diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - usually the legacy of their battlefield experiences.

The figures released by the MoD for 2009-13 tally with warnings given by the charity Combat Stress which specialises in treating PTSD.

It believes there are at least 10,000 veterans living with mental conditions who need urgent help.

And in February former SAS commander Brigadier Ed Butler, who commanded British forces in Afghanistan in 2006, said there is a "bow wave coming" of mental health cases.

The MoD figures reveal the forgotten side of combat.

Britain lost 179 personnel in Iraq and has lost 453 in Afghanistan in some of the heaviest fighting since the Korean War.

But the MoD says nearly another 9,000 seriously injured British troops have been medically discharged from the armed forces in the last five years.

The figures for all categories of medical discharges - including mental health conditions - have soared by 222 per cent since 2009.
read more here

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Combat PTSD in WWI veterans

History has done worse than repeat itself. With all that has been done in the last 40 years, they are still expected to just get over it.
Clifton Roat: The First World War soldier who experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after the horrors of Gallipoli
Mirror UK
By Francesca Cookney
Feb 16, 2014

For the 22-year-old farm boy from Norfolk, travelling to far-flung lands to fight The Hun in the First World War had seemed liked an adventure

Like thousands of young men in 1914, Clifton Roat couldn’t wait to join the army and go off to war.

For a 22-year-old farm boy from Norfolk, travelling to far-flung lands to fight The Hun was an adventure.

And to begin with, the postcards home spoke of nothing but excitement and high spirits. “Greetings from Egypt” said the cheerful note to his mum Lydia in January 1916, less than six months after he was drafted abroad.

“I’m thinking of you as I send this card. Maybe ’twill bring you joy to know that a message of love has come from your handsome soldier boy.”

But the man who returned was not the same person his parents and fiancée Harriet had waved off from Norfolk.

Like hundreds of First World War veterans, Clifton had seen and ­experienced horrors beyond anything he or his loved ones could comprehend.

Today, 100 years later, post-traumatic stress disorder is a well-known ­phenomenon. Many soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are offered therapy and counselling to help them come to terms with their ordeal.

But back then, returning servicemen were expected to simply pick up where they had left off.
read more here

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

UK Veteran with PTSD uses service ducks

Pets stop Paul from quacking up
Daily Record
By Paul Cargill
7 Jan 2014

Ducks help army bomb disposal hero keep flashbacks in check
Perthshire Advertiser
A former bomb disposal officer from Perth is coping with traumatic memories of Bosnia – by looking after his pet DUCKS.

Retired Royal Engineer Paul Wilkie (43), who was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in October 2012, adopted his two Call ducks shortly after moving from Perth to Guildtown last September.

The former Perth Academy pupil, who served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan during his 22 years in the army, can often be spotted walking the ducks, named Hesco and Bastion, around the village.

The father-of-three, who left the Royal Engineers in June 2012, explained how he suffers from nightmarish flashbacks of his time in Bosnia every time he falls asleep.

“I was working for the United Nations in Bosnia about 18 years ago,” he said yesterday. “I won’t go into too much detail, but I saw children playing with mines and getting killed.

“Every night I go to sleep, I have to relive that horrible experience. Sometimes I have to go through it three or four or maybe even six times a night.

“I don’t know what triggers it, but I sometimes wake up covered in sweat.”

But Paul said his feathered friends, who are named after the temporary defensive walls soldiers construct around their camps on tour, were helping him to cope with his horrific nightly flashbacks.
read more here

Friday, September 9, 2011

Most UK doctors 'cannot detect PTSD'

This may go a long way to explaining how the UK came out with a report on how low their military PTSD rate is.

Most doctors 'cannot detect PTSD'
07 September 2011

More than half of Britain's GPs are unaware of how to spot Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans despite official guidelines being available, a survey has found.

A ComRes poll commissioned by forces charity Combat Stress found that just 42 per cent of GPs were familiar with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on diagnosing PTSD.

Nearly half, 49 per cent, said they were not familiar with the guidelines at all, according to the survey of 1,006 doctors.
read more here

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

UK War hero sues police force after they wrongly brand him a paedophile

There can't be enough money to make up for what this additional stress did to this man when he already had PTSD from serving his country in Bosnia.

War hero sues police force after they wrongly brand him a paedophile
A war hero with post-traumatic stress disorder is suing a police force for tens of thousands of pounds after they wrongly branded him a paedophile.

Devastated Michael Bennett, 35, suffered vigilante attacks and was banned from seeing his girlfriend's three young children.

Mr Bennett, a Royal Artillery gunner and soldier for nine years, suffered a breakdown after witnessing horrific atrocities while serving in Bosnia.

But his life went from bad to worse when blundering cops got him mixed up with another genuine sex offender living near his home in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Warwickshire Police reported him to social services after they received a malicious phone call from a man who claimed Mr Bennett was a paedophile.

Shockingly, officers did not carry out any checks before reporting the innocent man, who now works as a lorry driver, to the authorities last summer.

Read more:
War hero sues police force

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

UK: The New Prisoners of War

The New Prisoners of War


THE Sun can today reveal that the mental health scandal afflicting traumatised troops has led to a surge in the number of military heroes being sent to jail.
Having been denied help when they needed it most, more and more servicemen and women are turning to drink and drugs.

As many as 20,000 are in prison, on probation or parole, costing taxpayers £250million a year.

The shameful toll was revealed as The Sun's StresS.O.S. campaign gathered momentum. We demand that all troops returning from Afghanistan have an appointment with an independent psychiatrist, that payouts for mental health issues are in line with those for physical injuries and that an all-party body is set up to organise a unified method of treatment.

The MoD said yesterday that 3.5 per cent of the prison population is ex-Forces. Charities say this soars when you include those on probation, parole or community service.

Around 4,000 troops have been diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Here we reveal more horrific tales from battle-scarred soldiers.
read more here
The New Prisoners of War

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Care now or pay more later

Here is a lesson all nations need to take seriously. It comes from the UK. A soldier suffered more because PTSD was not taken care of early on. The UK ended up paying out a lot of money to compensate him for the suffering he went through that did not need to happen.

This happens even more here in the US. PTSD is like an infection. It gets worse when it is not treated. Treat it and it stops getting worse. The sooner it is treated, much of what the warrior is experiencing can be reversed. They can be taught to live with what cannot be reversed and make their lives better.

It is not made public since the media has a habit of jumping on the latest figures but we're over a million suffering with PTSD right now. There are more with mild PTSD still hoping they will just get over it. They are not aware the 30 warning window flew wide open a long time ago. After trauma, if suffering does not subside within 30 days, survivors are advised to seek help no matter what caused the trauma. For the servicemen and women, too often multiple traumatic events come into their lives and feed what was already done by previous events. In other words, by the time they come home, it's already often too late to realistically expect to get over it.

Mild PTSD, if treated, can leave a veteran able to function quite well. Nightmares and flashbacks may remain, but they are not as strong or as often as they would be without treatment. Most medications can be decreased or stopped once the chemical balance of the brain has been restored. They can learn to cope with what cannot be reversed. They can learn to calm down when anxiety tries to take over. They can learn to retrain themselves to remember things. They can learn how to live as a survivor.

When it is not treated, damage is done to how their mind works. Like an infection, it eats away at what is there until medical attention is provided. Healing happens as the body's natural ability is supported but there is scar tissue. The mind works pretty much the same way. Not treating PTSD allows the scars to deepen. Mild PTSD turns into full blown PTSD and then it requires a lot more treatment, changes the lives more and then ends up costing more in the long run.

On a human level they need to be treated as soon as possible but on a financial level, not treating them leads to a lifetime of financial compensation. Aside from being a moral issue, which would demand care for them, not taking care of them prevents them from going on to live with the ability to support themselves.

We can care now or pay more later. Doesn't it make more sense to treat them early on after trauma? Their lives should matter enough for all of us to do the right thing now before too much damage is done to their lives.

MoD pays out six-figure sum for soldier suffering post-traumatic stress disorder
By Ian Drury
The Ministry of Defence could be forced to pay compensation to hundreds of soldiers suffering post-traumatic stress disorder following a landmark six-figure pay-out to a former bomb disposal expert.

The soldier claimed he might not have suffered a breakdown in 2004 if military psychiatrists had diagnosed and treated his illness earlier.

The MoD fought the legal battle after insisting the ex-serviceman, who cannot be named for security reasons, had failed to lodge his claim for negligence within a three-year time limit.

But, having settled with the soldier out of court, Army chiefs face the nightmare scenario of paying out PTSD claims which could run into millions of pounds many years after sufferers have quit the military.

Read more: MoD pays out six-figure sum for soldier suffering

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

UK:Veterans found to be at risk of alcoholism and suicide

Just as we have seen society rally for those who have been physically wounded, we must now ensure that those who have been psychologically injured while serving their country receive the support and understanding that they deserve, and that care must not stop when they leave the services.

“Just as they have stood up for us, we will stand up for them and that is why I am proud to support the Combat Stress Enemy Within appeal.”

Combat Stress appeal: Veterans found to be at risk of alcoholism and suicide
Almost a fifth of service personnel have drinking problems while young soldiers who leave the Armed Forces are three times more likely to kill themselves than civilians, academic studies show.

By Martin Beckford
Published: 7:30AM GMT 15 Mar 2010

The mental health problems suffered by members of the Armed Forces have emerged as David Cameron became the latest high-profile figure to back a £30million appeal to improve care for veterans.

The campaign by the charity Combat Stress, which is being supported by The Daily Telegraph, was launched by the Prince of Wales last week amid fears that troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to need increasing levels of psychological support in the coming years.

Recent research appears to confirm that service personnel are at greater risk of developing mental health problems than the general public, and often find it difficult to cope with civilian life when they return from the front line.

A University of Manchester study found that of the 233,803 people who left the services between 1996 and 2005, 224 had later killed themselves.

The average age of those who took their own life was just 22, and the risk of suicide in the under-24s was between two and three times higher than in the general population or serving troops.

Veterans found to be at risk of alcoholism and suicide

Thursday, March 11, 2010

UK Veterans wait, on average, more than 14 years before seeking help

Dannatt: traumatic stress a 'stark reality'
By Channel 4 News
Updated on 11 March 2010

Prince Charles launches a £30m fundraising campaign to treat psycological problems of former service personnel, the former army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt tells Channel 4 News that post traumatic stress is a "stark reality" for many ex-soldiers.

Combat Stress, which has been operating for ninety years, is actively assisting more than 400 veterans of the Iraq and Afghan campaigns.

The charity receives more than one thousand referrals a year, and said the The Enemy Within campaign would raise awareness of mental health issues among ex-soldiers, and provide community outreach teams across the country.

Veterans wait, on average, more than 14 years before seeking help and there are fears that demand is likely to increase.
read more here
Traumatic stress a stark reality

Monday, February 8, 2010

UK:750 troops get trauma stress in 3 months

By Kate Mansey 7/02/2010

750 troops get trauma stress in 3 months

Almost 750 servicemen and women have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in just three months, shocking figures show.

The leaked statistics reveal the mental toll suffered by our brave forces struggling to cope with the horrors of war in Afghanistan.

A Ministry of Defence document seen by the Sunday Mirror shows in just a three-month period last summer there were 746 new cases of PTSD and other mental illnesses diagnosed in the armed services. And a further 312 were found to be suffering from other psychological problems, including depression, anxiety or alcohol and drug abuse - bringing the total of those treated for their war experiences to more than a thousand.

Charity Combat Stress, part-funded by the Government, supports 4,200 veterans who suffer from mental illness. And it says the worst is yet to come. Spokesman Robert Marsh said: "Since 2005 we have seen a 66 per cent increase in referrals from veterans of all conflicts.

"We are concerned about future demand, particularly if veterans wait, as they now do, 14 years on average between leaving the armed services and coming to Combat Stress."

read more here