Sad Death of a Comrade-in-arms

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Bugsy, Jan 26, 2006.

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  1. Another casualty of battle. May you find the peace in death, you were denied in life soldier. RIP.
  2. There was a segment on this in yeaterdays Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2 also included phone in an a couple of experts on PTSD you can listen to it again on the Radio 2 website
  3. PTSD is a current important issue Bugsy , it's in the right forum.
  4. The guy deserves every sympathy. BUT, for every soldier who returns in the condition he was, many come back without any problem - some even strengthened by their experiences. There are casualties very day; road victime, marriage break-up victims, crime victims. Who is to say that this ex-soldier would not have been one of those? There was no intention by the Army to cause these mental injuries. The fact of going to war meant that they were blamed for what may just as well have happened in a totally civilian environment. Some people do crack up when faced by any trauma.
    As I started - any death is to be regretted and his is no exception but to jump straight into accusing the military is unreasonable. Like it or not, sh1t does sometimes happen.
  5. The full article in yesterday's Indie also included some telling information about the counselling of soldiers in Iraq, in forward bases, in relation to the use of 'Mindsweepers' to assist any soldiers' suffering with their situation. The Americans appear to have a policy of trying to counsel the guys in Iraq, rather than getting them back to the US first.

    The other part of the piece that really stuck out was the use of MDMA (Ecstacy) as a (now) very common method of treating American veterans who have returned home from Iraq with PTSD symptons. I wasn't aware that MDMA was being used again in this way by the US, but the DoD changed their policy last year to allow it.

    Perhaps somebody who understands this area of medicine might like to comment on how effective MDMA is in treating these types of problem.

    Rest in peace buddy.
  6. A very sad story.

    I feel that it's hard enough for full-time soldiers to come to terms with some of the things they have seen when they have the military support structure around them. Many part-timers (TA/National Guard) simply disappear back into the community from where they came and these communities do not have the understanding, experience or expertise to deal with PTSD.

    I have heard stories of TA solders who were in contact in Iraq one day and in their local Tesco the next with no one to turn to and say,
    "Hey, this is weird!"

    I think we could do more to look after reservists on their return. Any thoughts?
  7. Interceptor,

    Absolutely spot on. But then, it would add to the numbers wouldn't it?!
  8. Poor fella. Rest easy.
    A while ago I found myself (after 8 months being amongst people with less than bugger all), in the middle of that altar to shopping, Bluewater.
    Fcuking feeding frenzy of chavs buying crap they didn't need.
    I was utterly bewildered and had to make like a swastika outta there sharpish. For ages afterwards I couldn't go near the place, or similar places. Might explain my hatred of chavs, too!
    I think I'd lost my objectivity, which I'm convinced is a significant part of PTSD.
  9. ... interesting thoughts. There were efforts at Chilwell to make Reservists aware of PTSD after our return, a talk from a medic. There were also some excellent guides for both returnees and their families. Reservists not being part of a family like our Regular colleagues, do head back into the community with not much support. Our unit has not asked or approached any of us to my knowledge since we returned, to see if we are coping,.. but then they are neither equiped or briefed on what to do. When I returned I did not talk to the guy I shared a room/bedspace for 5 months with on Telic for over a year and when I did, at a xmas do, I did feel better for it... don't know if he did.

    As you say driving like a lunatic along route Tampa one day, the next queuing for a 4 pack in Tesco's the next.. it is a bit surreal.

    I don't have as many issues now, I was a very angry aggressive person to begin with. I also found that my old job, one that I had done for 20 years no longer interested me and the people I worked with drove me to distraction with what I saw was their petty whinging,(not really their fault as they have no comprehension of what it means to be out in somewhere like Iraq or Afghanistan).

    I am now looking to change career directions to put my time behind me, and channel my interests into something that I can feel more self respect about. Its my way or dealing with it.

    I am guessing that the chap in the article just dissappeared back into society, totally unprepared for what that now meant to him.

    Equally I wonder how our Regular colleagues cope with returning??? I would be interested to know if there is any support... especially as a great number are returning to theatre again and again??
  10. Old Red Cap, for every soldier wounded or shot, many come back without any injury, does that mean we should ignore the ones who are wounded. Do we say, well he could have just as well been shot in a drive by shooting? The effects of PTSD are not only psychological, they are physical too, the entire brain chemistry changes and this can be just as devastating to the individual concerned as a physical wound. Until we can change the culture of blaming the casualty for the illness, soldiers will continue to kill themselves or suffer often in silence. And what about the girlfriends, the wives and the children of these guys, do they not deserve our support too? Sometimes the person they used to know and love is still walking around and living and breathing and yet in a way also killed in action.
    There is no shame in being a casualty of war, only honour. It's a shame too many of our comrades ignore this fact for whatever reason.
  11. I don't normally get into the more serious portions of this site as I usually have little of import to add to the debate.

    On this subject, however, I feel that I can finally speak. I think that PTSD is one of the most vile, insidious and damaging illnesses around. It can manifest itself in so many ways that can be easily blamed on other factors.

    I was deployed on Telic and 3 years on, I have finally admitted that the things that I saw and did out there have had an effect on me. Not to the extent that some unfortunates have suffered, but it was my first proper deployment and I did notice changes (both positive and negative) to my personality upon my return.

    The positive aspects were a greater respect for the value of life and the fact that I was generally more "grown-up". The negative aspects included a very short fuse, being more emotional and, to some extent, an obsession with PERSEC and self-defense.

    I think that anyone who has been through the emotional mill of a deployment (especially one like Telic - and Granby, Bos, Falklands etc beforehand) must have some level of PTSD to contend with, even if it is only the odd bad memory.

    As I said earlier, it has taken me 3 years to finally go to my MO and admit that I have a problem.

    Having asked around, it seems that at least a third of the people that I deployed with have had some form of mental health problem since their return, and that is only those that have admitted the problem and sought care! Several have been so badly affected that they have been medically discharged.

    I don't think the problem is the way that the Army deals with mental health, I think it is more that, in the environment in which we work, it takes a hell of a lot of bottle to admit that YOU have been adversely affected. I felt stupidly embarrassed and unmanly for bothering the MO with my problems. As it happens, the support I have experienced has been great - as soon as you admit that everything is not OK.

    One small step and all that...

    Edited to add: Resquiat in Pace. I hope he has indeed now found peace.
  12. To you and those who feel the same - my apology. I did not seek to write down what happened to this guy and others like him. I suppose my old employment involved cutting down too many who had hung themselves, sweeping up bloodstains and removing 9mm pistols in the lavatory and generally dealing with the aftermath of guys with problems made me over-sensative to any suggestion that stress only comes from, and affects those who have been in, warfare.
  13. To complicate matters, each incident can have a different meaning to the individul, something that doesn't necessary bother one soldier unduly can have a devastating effect on another one especially if it relates to a previous trauma. We are all adept at hiding our own scars, maybe too adept at times. Non of us like to admit we are human, with normal human feelings. Feeling like sh*t because you see or experience something terrible is nothing to be ashamed of, its normal and unfortunately not everyone can come to terms with the guilt associated with thinking you maybe could have done more. The reality is, most of us always try our best anyway, thats what we do, thats who we are. Personally speaking, I wouldn't want to know anyone who didn't feel bad about what we sometimes see. Only 2% of the army fall into this category anyway, the psychiatrists call them psychopaths. The guys who are suffering are not mentally ill, they are wounded and in fact a damn sight more normal than those who feel nothing.
  14. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Good thread - thanks for the intitial post. God rest him and give him peace.

    Current issue of 'Soldier' magazine (page 43) has an account by a former Scots DG Sgt of his experience of PTSD post GW1 and his subsequent treatment at the Combat Stress centre at Hollybush House in Ayrshire. I've asked for permission to reprint the article here and will do so as and when I get the ecopy.

    If people are interested in helping the work of Combat Stress plse see the thread in 'Charities and Welfare' -

    - if you are attending the Army Vs Navy match the same day, please keep an eye out for Combat Stress collectors, even if you can't join us.

    Many thanks

    Le Chevre