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Friday, August 03, 2007


Stress of long army tours!

Read this Tell me something I don't know about!-Many people might be inclined to say "If you can't do the time,don't do the crime"-That service personnel are aware of the danger and stress related to the armed forces and if they didn't want to serve in that environment under those conditions they shouldn't have joined in the first place!Well it's easy for the uninformed to draw that conclusion however speaking from my own personal experience having served two tours in Northern Ireland and more recently a tour in Iraq I can say that anyone who thinks that is a naive idiot!-There are old soldiers alive today who are still suffering post traumatic stress from World War two and Korea!-Not to mention the Falklands war,Northern Ireland,Bosnia and Kosova and the first Gulf War and the number is growing daily from the present campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan!-It has ALWAYS been a problem in the armed forces,due to the very nature of the job-Putting you in harms way,risking your life on a daily basis,working under extreme stress,but it has never officially been admitted.However a marked increase of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder cases coming to light more recently are not only due to the increased workload of our armed forces and the escalation of violence in both Iraq and Afghanistan it is also down to the "Stigma" of PTSD being removed and more service personnel coming forward and admitting they have problems.For years the MoD have been in denial about the size of the problem of stress related illness within our armed forces,it has gone to great measures to play the problem down and bury its bureaucratic head in the sand,hoping it would go away!-It can no longer do that,too many of our soldiers,sailors and airmen have been affected for it to be denied any longer.The Ministry of Defence has a DUTY OF CARE to provide proper treatment for EVERY serviceman who experiences ANY problems with their health DIRECTLY related to their service to this country!-They have quite clearly BREACHED that duty for years,an obvious example being the debacle over "Gulf War syndrome"!-Too many troops were affected for it not to be quite obviously a major problem,however the "Wise monkeys" in Whitehall refused point blank to admit what anyone with half a brain could see to be the truth!-The time has come for things to change!-A lot more money needs to be spent on proper counselling and treatment for those affected.The MoD has said that ALL soldiers are given the opportunity to receive such counselling on their return from active service-Bollocks,I certainly wasn't on any of my tours of duty and I don't know anyone who was!-Two days after returning from Iraq I was "Demobbed" and sent back to "Civvie street" with no more than a "Fuck you very much" and a "Don't call us we'll call you" attitude!-So much for Honour and Duty!-I know many of ex army friends who have experienced problems on return to civilian life,most cope in the "Traditional" and time honoured way by diving into a bottle,myself included for a time!-This is a national disgrace,the MoD OWES a huge debt to its service personnel and has reneged on that debt.It's time to pay up before any more casualties are sacrificed on the bureaucratic altar of indifference and contempt!

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