Afghanistan - The Legacy in Britain

Although the thread title refers to Afghanistan, and others have thrown in quite correctly with NI, Iraq etc. Anybody else get the feeling that this has been recognised for a long time and either the money, will or knowledge to deal with it was not available.

Anyone remember the TV Ad from the somewhere around the 70's / early 80's which went along the lines of.

'' Meet Tiny, Tiny was the bravest man I ever met ....................''

Morning @Portree Kid,
Ref: T.v. advert. I remember it well. Maybe once(?), a year that's what's needed again to keep people's awareness up.
When in Blighty, I have the good fortune to be able to stay in family, friends houses for short periods(my choice), during the limited time I'm there otherwise I'd be on the streets unless I used B&B or hostel. I seem to remember there are many different charities adverts on t.v. with monotonous regularity, which whoever I'm staying with will either say they are "spoilt for choice", or totally ignore.

E2a: 'Tiny' always made me think of one of my 'brick' (bosses) for some inexplicable reason. He was squaddie bonkers and wouldn't surprise me if he'd developed it later in life, though I hope not as he was a great guy who I respected immensely.
 
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Ed Stafford, Ex-Devon & Dorset did an interesting documentary on living on the streets. What struck me was how simple life seemed.


Morning @fraudstar,
Cheers for the link, will have to check that out. Vague memory, didn't he do t.v. survivor programmes? If so, he had the right mentality, skills, no underlaying problems and knowing it was only for 60 days., to make "life seem simple". No disrespect, kudos for doing it.
Didn't 'celeb's' or politicians try it for ONE night some time back. Fckrs should've done it longer.
From personal experience, yes it can be but not all the time.

E2a: 2nd 's' in disrespect.
 
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She is aware of that, but reckons the problem will get worse in the future,as the resources are not,and now probably will not be directed at the issue.

There are many trying to help, but it’s if the people wanting help. Being homeless isn’t a problem for some people, it’s a choice.
 
Morning @fraudstar,
Cheers for the link, will have to check that out. Vague memory, didn't he do t.v. survivor programmes? If so, he had the right mentality, skills, no underlaying problems and knowing it was only for 60 days., to make "life seem simple". No disrepect, kudos for doing it.
Didn't 'celeb's' or politicians try it for ONE night some time back. Fckrs should've done it longer.
From personal experience, yes it can be but not all the time.

He did, after he walked the Amazon from source to sea. He’s a pretty good egg.

It’s a refreshingly apolitical look and well worth a watch.
 
There are many trying to help, but it’s if the people wanting help. Being homeless isn’t a problem for some people, it’s a choice.

I've worked with a local homeless charity to help them distribute food. One of the workers came in for a talk, apparently quite a few of the beggars had houses from the local council but continued to beg because it was easy money. A lot of them were also older men with zero chance of establishing a decent career. As the only viable alternative was to work hard doing labouring on minimum wage you can understand why they'd want to sit around a park drinking cheap beer.

It's also worth pointing out that many of these people don't have the IQ or social savvy to hold down a job, tho some are just bone idle too. There's not really much they can do that's of use to society. I imagine a lot have mental health and learning difficulties too.

There was a story a while ago posted on arrse about a do-gooder minted house wife who took in a tramp. Maybe she'd watched too much Les Miserables? Her hubby gave the guy a job in his company and he lived in their house.

The tramp ended up stabbing the wife and her son cos he was a psycho drug addict.
 
Morning @dingerr,
Just have to look at the figures for SAM veterans just as an example. If I remember correctly, more suicides than KIA.

Most suicides are a tragedy, we can all think of exceptions, but in the main they are a terribly sad loss.

The Falklands suicides was often touted by the SAMA but it begs the questions
(a) How would they know? and
(b) Was it lifted from the similar American claim re: Vietnam veterans?
It became such a prevalent claim that the Government ran a comprehensive and no doubt expensive investigation to discover if there was truth in it.

A couple of the conclusions that it reached;

""99. For each year between 1982 and 2013 there have been fewer than 10 deaths with a coroner confirmed suicide or open verdict. For the entire period, the risk of dying as a result of suicide for the Falkland veterans has been no different to that in the UK general population (Figure 10, Table A1). This finding was consistent with that reported for the 1991 Gulf veteran population (Figure 10).

68. Table 2 shows that the largest group of deaths due to external causes was due to intentional self-harm and events of undetermined intent (suicides and open verdict deaths) with 101 deaths (7% of all deaths). Thus the statement that ‘more Falkland veterans have taken their own lives since the South Atlantic conflict ended that the number of Servicemen killed in action’ has not been supported by the evidence presented.""


Link: Falklands Deaths Survey
 
...It became such a prevalent claim that the Government ran a comprehensive and no doubt expensive investigation to discover if there was truth in it...

...Thus the statement that ‘more Falkland veterans have taken their own lives since the South Atlantic conflict ended that the number of Servicemen killed in action’ has not been supported by the evidence presented.""


Link: Falklands Deaths Survey

Without getting argumentative in such an important and sad topic, governments have, and do, massage figures and move goal posts at will, to look good.
 
I've spoken about this before on another thread some time ago.

I was sitting on a train coming into Paddington. I was travelling from Heathrow after returning from some time in North Africa.

Two smelly, p*ssed up vagrants boarded the train a couple of stops before Paddington. Both drinking Special Brew. Both very gobby.
It was that moment when you could see everyone on the train was willing either of them not to sit next to them, myself included. The shorter of the two was extremely loud, obnoxious and insulting to the younger females in the carriage.
The other, taller one sat right next to me. He stunk. He was a mess.

I like to be grey. He immediately asked loudly, if I was in the army. I said no, and looked out the window. He then asked if i had ever been in the army. At that point I noticed his shoes - they were knackered, but they were good quality brogues.i then noticed he was wearing a quality leather jacket, again it was gopping, but it fitted him well.

There was something about him that made me reply that I was. At that point, his whole persona changed. He quietened down and became much more civil. We spoke 'normally' for a bit. He was very well spoken. Then he told me his story - apparently he was from a wealthy family and held a commission in the Royal Green Jackets. He did a tour of NI where he was present at an incident where a life or lives were lost (he wouldn't elaborate) which really really screwed him up.
Long story short, as a result, he turned to the booze and eventually lost everything - his career, family, friends, everything. He was now a homeless alcoholic.
We soon arrived at Paddington Station. On getting off the train we shook hands and I asked if I could assist in getting him any help. He flatly refused. He just seemed happy to have someone to speak to who he felt understood. I bunged him a few notes anyway, he was genuinely reluctant to take it. We both then went our separate ways.

Before this episode, I was of the opinion all homeless people are homeless by choice. I had very little, if any sympathy for them. Since then however, I have realised individual circumstances can be far more complicated.
I am now a lot more sympathetic. There are a lot of wasters on the streets, but there are also a lot of genuine cases.
Please accept my query in the spirit intended of understanding this incident; I am not questioning it, but what did he say that convinced you he was an ex Inf Officer from a wealthy family, with Service in NI?

Again, a genuine question and not a challenge on you or the incident.

Regards, SB.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
'' Meet Tiny, Tiny was the bravest man I ever met ....................''

Yeah, that was the Ex Services Mental Welfare Society, now known as 'Combat Stress'.....as per post above /\.

Our history

Arrsers various have supported them running the British 10K in London over a number of seasons.
A small team from my Unit ran the Marine Corps Marathon for them in 2004.

And every single time Combat Stress get mentioned in this forum some d1ck pops up with

' Don't talk to me about those cahnts....they did nothing for me....etc etc.'

Well, Combat Stress has been around since just after the First World War.

It was in WW2 that understanding actually went backwards....unhinged Bomber Command aircrew getting labelled 'LMF' etc.

And we always get into the same tedious circular arguments about people ' pulling the PTSD card '.

How did Nottingham Uni have that database?

Study was carried out in conjunction with MoD, who at that time were on the back foot (as ever) re persistent Press reports that London's Rough Sleepers were disproportionately ex-Service folk. * see addendum

I'll try and get a definitive document on it and post link here.

@hackle with his corporate overview of Westminster Poison Palace shenanigans may recall it ?

[ " The full details are currently unavailable but I will furnish the Hon Member with a reply and a copy will be placed in the Library of the House " ]

IIRC, APC Glasgow provided the database, and it went back 20 years prior to the survey.

Whether it was Tri-Service or not I do not recall.


Edited to add: https://www.york.ac.uk/media/chp/documents/2008/HomelessExServiceinLondon.pdf


" The report identifies the number, characteristics and experiences of homeless Veterans, routes into homelessness, the effectiveness of services for homeless Veterans in London and a series of important recommendations, many of which have already been actioned or are planned. The research approach was investigative and cumulative, building on information and 'leads' from a wide variety of agencies to more adequately quantify need and risk factors, and develop appropriate responses especially to improve coordination and knowledge of services for Veterans at risk. Importantly, the report also provides very clear guidelines about focusing the efforts of ESAG partners to be able to provide innovative and effective support for Veterans who have just become homeless, are long-term homeless or may be about to become homeless. "

( Fill those black limousines - the Google-Fu is strong in this one ! )
 
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There are many trying to help, but it’s if the people wanting help. Being homeless isn’t a problem for some people, it’s a choice.

This is a sad truth that is often ignored, mostly by those also sadly seeking a political advantage, when they highlight, homelessness and rough sleepers .

They also seem to be the same types that fail to link that easing or turning a blind eye too drug laws enables and encourages the worsening conditions of and for rough sleepers.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
The Report from York University (Not Nottingham as per my earlier post) concluded with this:

['This report is the product of a wish by the Ex-Service Action Group on Homelessness (ESAG) for an independent review of homelessness among ex-Service personnel in London after ten years of operations as a group. ']

Recommendations :

The prevention of homelessness amongst ex-Service personnel may be further enhanced if a number of issues are taken into consideration.

It could be argued that the ex-Service homelessness prevention remit lies primarily in the hands of the MoD and Armed Forces resettlement and post discharge support programmes.

By the time most ex-Service personnel seek help, or are ‘discovered’ by frontline support agency staff (e.g. street outreach teams), they are already homeless.

Early indications suggest that these preventative measures are beginning to have a positive impact, but their influence might potentially be enhanced by:

• Considering ways of breaking down the ‘shame’ barrier that inhibits ex-Service personnel from accepting help.

• Either way, the relevance of the resettlement programme housing and financial briefings must be actively promoted given the widespread assumption amongst Service Leavers that ‘everything will be fine’ after discharge and that such information will be of little value to them.

• There is an apparent need for Commanding Officers and resettlement staff to be trained in detecting symptoms of vulnerability or risk factors for social exclusion amongst Service Leavers – Early Service Leavers in particular.

• In addition, the Armed Forces might be more proactive in monitoring the welfare of ex-Service personnel – especially those identified as at risk of social exclusion – at defined periods following discharge so that they might be signposted to welfare services as appropriate.

There is a clear need for ESAG to increase awareness of the services available amongst the ex-Service community and mainstream homelessness providers – at both managerial and frontline levels.

In particular, staff should be alerted to the types of support offered by dedicated homelessness projects in London as well as the more general provisions made by national ex-Forces welfare agencies such as The Royal British Legion, SSAFA and so on.

Furthermore, the accessibility and effectiveness of ESAG services would be improved if they were more streamlined and had a well-advertised central point of contact or access.

Given the shortage of settled housing within London, there is a case for providing more settled accommodation in a range of forms to cater for differing levels and types of support need.

In particular, greater provision of ‘transitional’ or ‘second stage’ accommodation is needed for ex-Service personnel with medium or high support needs who currently find the ‘jump’ from hostel accommodation to an independent tenancy very difficult to cope with.

Such projects should enable them to develop the skills needed and build confidence in their ability to live independently within a supportive environment.

Referrals to such projects should operate in such a way as to ensure that they are needs- rather than supply-driven, and
offer continuity of support to individual ex-Service personnel.

----------------- ------------------------ ------------------------ -------------------------------
LINK
------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------------------------- -----------------------

The York Report came out in 2008, just in time for ten years of George Osborne austerity.

It would be interesting to know what actions, if any, have been taken in the interim......
Only those currently serving or about to leave the Service would be in a position to answer.
 
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Anyone remember the TV Ad from the somewhere around the 70's / early 80's which went along the lines of.

'' Meet Tiny, Tiny was the bravest man I ever met ....................''

Indeed I do remember it; at least the newspaper ad.
It was a powerful advert, evidenced by at least you and I remembering it after all these years.
The ad was striking enough to be one of the very rare charity ads which has caused my to take out my cheque book.
Here it is;
ESMWSPic.png

SIX-FOOT-FOUR SERGEANT "Tiny" G*T*R*E DCM, was perhaps the bravest man his Colonel ever knew, But now, after seeing service in Aden, after being booby-trapped and ambushed again more recently, Sergeant "Tiny" cannot bear to turn a corner for fear of what is on the other side. It is the bravest men and women from the Services who suffer most from mental breakdown. For they have tried, each one of them, to give more, much more, than they could in the service of our Country.

We look after these brave men and women. We help them at home, and in hospital. We run our own Convalescent Home. For some, we provide work in a sheltered industry, so that they can live without charity. For others, there is our Veterans' Home where they can see out their days in peace.

These men and women have given their minds to their Country. If we are to help them, we must have funds. Do please help us with a donation, and with legacy too, perhaps. The debt is owed by all of us. They have given more than they could-please give as much as you can.
 
Indeed I do remember it; at least the newspaper ad.
It was a powerful advert, evidenced by at least you and I remembering it after all these years.
The ad was striking enough to be one of the very rare charity ads which has caused my to take out my cheque book.
Here it is;
View attachment 476104
SIX-FOOT-FOUR SERGEANT "Tiny" G*T*R*E DCM, was perhaps the bravest man his Colonel ever knew, But now, after seeing service in Aden, after being booby-trapped and ambushed again more recently, Sergeant "Tiny" cannot bear to turn a corner for fear of what is on the other side. It is the bravest men and women from the Services who suffer most from mental breakdown. For they have tried, each one of them, to give more, much more, than they could in the service of our Country.

We look after these brave men and women. We help them at home, and in hospital. We run our own Convalescent Home. For some, we provide work in a sheltered industry, so that they can live without charity. For others, there is our Veterans' Home where they can see out their days in peace.

These men and women have given their minds to their Country. If we are to help them, we must have funds. Do please help us with a donation, and with legacy too, perhaps. The debt is owed by all of us. They have given more than they could-please give as much as you can.
I always remember that under that picture was one of two Royal Northumberland Fusilers in Aden, one was them was lying wounded or dead on the ground with the other attending to him.
 
Within mental health and PTSD, things can spiral into what is known as depression disorder and it would certainly account for many of the negative outcomes (drugs, drink, suicide)..... The legacy of war, has always being this sense that was the sacrifice worth it and a war that was less than popular and with no real victory, can only exacerbate matters.

One can only feel pity and hope that the men can find some peace.
 

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