This is in several papers but I’ll quote The Telegraph.

The SAS veteran Andy McNab has launched a scathing attack on the Government’s treatment of British troops after a poll found that two thirds of the public thought their care was “disgraceful”.

By Thomas Harding

The author of Bravo Two Zero warned that there was a “timebomb” waiting to explode of troops suffering from mental trauma after experiencing combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

An ICM poll personally commissioned by McNab found that the public are dissatisfied with the treatment of those who have fought for their country.

Three quarters of the 3,040 adults questioned believed that the Ministry of Defence did not support troops once they were discharged from service. Almost half of those questioned (49 per cent) said they would willingly pay an extra penny in income tax to help former-servicemen with financial difficulties.

In the first poll of its kind, the survey found that 76 per cent believed the Government’s commitment to the psychological care of veterans was “inadequate” with discharged personnel left to ‘get on with it.’

McNab said he had written his latest book, Seven Troop, partly because of the psychological difficulties experienced by his SAS colleagues after they left the Army. Out of his 10 man SAS section, two committed suicide and one was jailed for murder after he shot his girlfriend 16 times.

“What we have at the moment is a timebomb of post traumatic stress disorder that will go off in the next 10 to 15 years in people who have experienced the horrors of the current conflicts,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“It annoys me that we continually get politicians of all persuasions jumping on the back of military success only for the same politicians not to back them with money when they leave.”

He quoted the statistic that more men took their own lives after the Falklands War, estimated at 300, than the 255 who died in the conflict.

McNab is also concerned that with no military hospitals left the NHS “won’t be able to get on top of it” when the PTSD cases break out.

“Since I left the forces some 15 years ago, the situation for ex-service personnel simply hasn’t improved,” said the former soldier, who spent 10 out of 18 years Army service in the SAS. “I’ve seen for myself the appalling way that our soldiers are hung out to dry. “The idea held by the Government that the majority of service personnel experience a smooth transition into civilian life is delusional.”

It is estimated that six per cent of homeless people are former Servicemen and the National Association of Probation Officer has reported that one in 11 prisoners in jails are ex-Forces.

After discharge from service McNab said it was “very hard” for troops to reintegrate after they were “thrust into society” following years of being institutionalised in the Services. “There is a pervading sense of literally being ‘thrown out of the club’,” McNab said.

He criticised the “fundamental lack of continued welfare support” and called on the Government to treat veterans “with the dignity that we all agree they deserve.”

Read the full article here


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