I am replying to the article (below), printed in an edition of NESA News.
My name is Andrew Murphy and I am an ex-Bosnia vet with a 50% War Pension for my service related injuries… PTSD.
People might ask what is PTSD? Well in Pte Thoughtons’ time it was called ‘Cowardness‘ or ‘Desertion of Duty‘ or ‘Shell Shock‘ or if you were in the RAF ‘LMF‘ (Lack of Moral Fibre).
After my Service/Tour of Bosnia in 1993, I knew that I could not do another tour out there again. I could not stand any loud bangs and was scared of my own shadow (no doubt was Pte T). I signed off and got out the Army (Pte T was not so lucky). If I had served in 1915, I guess I too would have been shot!
HAS ANYTHING CHANGED – Does Our Government/MOD Really Treat Us Any Different Today?
After nearly 100 years, ex-service men & women are still treated with little or no respect, dignity or honour by Government or society itself. They are given no help or counselling, whilst in service or especially when they are released or discharged.
Many veterans get no mental health care from their Local Health Authority, their GP’s do not believe in PTSD or ‘Combat Stress’ (the ex-Services Mental Welfare Society) and their CMHT (Community Mental Health Team) have turned their backs on them.
You might say ‘POOR OLD MAN’ or ‘WHAT A SHAME’ or even try to indicate that we are sad cases who has just slipped the loop!
BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG.
There are thousands of us poor old men & women who after years of mental torment, in the form of:
- Mental Problems
- Alcohol/Drug Abuse
- Mood Swings
We lose our friends, our families, our dignity, our pride and finally our lives to suicide.
NOW ASK THE QUESTION… HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?
I say again NO!
Whether by firing squad or suicide. By denying us access to basic medical help and support, counselling and a coherent programme throughout the NHS, backed by Government and the MOD, they (the Government) are still responsible for these deaths.
I nearly killed myself in 1999 and again in 2010. I could not deal with the spiralling depression and flashbacks. It cost everything except the one constant throughout it all… My Wife & Family.
I am one of the lucky ones. I got help and now I have created my own website http://www.ptsd.org.uk to help others.
I am not a trained medical person or a psychiatrist.
I’ve been there and I never judge anyone.
If you know of another Pte T, please help Him or Her before the ‘Firing Squad of Life’ fires the Final Volley!