Monday, June 18, 2007

The Falklands Veterans Parade yesterday was a moving tribute to those who fought, and died for British people living on British Territory which had been invaded by a fascist dictatorship. Not only did the war liberate the Falklands but an unexpected bonus was that it led to the fall of the Junta and heralded democracy in Argentina. Yet as the BBC reported this morning more veterans of the conflict have lost their lives through committing suicide since the end of the war than in the conflict itself.

It isn’t surprising given the disgraceful way we treat our soldiers. Those returning from Iraq with physical injuries have been put into civilian hospitals and subjected to verbal abuse from so called “British” citizens. Those bearing the mental scars of war are reliant on charities like Combat Stress. Led by former submarine commander Toby Elliot it does a superb job but a reliance on voluntary donations means that it can’t help as many as Cmdr Elliot would like. Those who return unharmed are often housed in substandard accommodation for a few months before being sent off on the next six month tour. Those on frontline duties do not even receive the equivalent of the minimum wage.

A former member of the SAS told me last week that an injured mate of his had been treated at Selly Oak hospital alongside a wounded member of the Taliban who was claiming asylum. The wounded British soldier was eventually discharged with permanent disabilities, left the army, and struggled to find the money to have his home adapted. Meanwhile the ex-Taliban member will have been fed housed and nursed back to health by the British taxpayers and if his claim Asylum claim is accepted he will be entitled to claim for full social security benefits backdated to the day he arrived in the UK.

The brave young men and women who put their lives on the line for their country deserve far better from their political leaders.


Blogger terry said...

i sit here after reading what you say about the asylum seeking taliban and am totally shocked that i am totally unshocked that this is happening . ever since thatcher left power the british servicemen has become nothing better than a serf to be shifted shot at and sh*t on

12:42 AM  
Blogger Roger333 said...

Mister Davies, I served in Iraq on Telic 1. Like the fortunate majority, I came home unscathed. I have also, since then visited both Selly Oak and the awesome bunch at Headley Court who are charged with looking after our very seriously wounded people .

Have you been to either [i]this year[/i] ?

If you have, you will know that both the NHS medical staff and our own [b]military[/b] doctors,Nurses,Physios and other specialists bend heaven and earth on behalf of their Service patients. I urge you to go the Defence welfare service pad at Selly Oak and read the Thank You cards left there by Service families.

I guess my point is the scuttlebutt and rumour-mill generated by ' A mate told me ( who had it from a guy he knew who was talking to a bloke in)...' is doing SERIOUS damage.Example: a young rifleman talking to Fiona Bruce on her BBC programme back in November said:

[i]' I was a bit worried about getting wounded before I came here (Selly Oak)BECAUSE OF WHAT I'D HEARD - but since I've been here it's been okay...'[/i]

I don't know the truth of what your Hereford Gun Club oppo saw because I wasn't there. But why not go and get 'eyes on' yourself ?

My two pennyworth anyweay,


3:34 AM  
Blogger Always said...

David, I just read an article about suicide among the US vets are more than the account given officially

So I went around googling to find out how we in UK are doing. I got a few hits, but non-conclusive. Eg. See:$1166947.htm.

Have you got any other stats. I will appreciate. Thanks.

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