I’m tempted to say, ‘serves them fucking right,’ but an objective analysis demands we understand that these are psychologically-wounded men and women who, for better or worse, followed what were presented as lawful orders. And they’re back home now, part of our society, so like them or not we’re all better served by treating these people and making sure it doesn’t happen again.
As posted on alternet.org:

The Department of Veterans Affairs has finally recognized that it’s not just events during combat that can cause Post-traumatic stress disorder, but any number of the horrors of war. It is a much-needed change that brings the VA up-to-date not just with the current medical research, but with the nature of modern warfare, in which violence extends far beyond the combat zone. To qualify for PTSD related benefits soldiers no longer have to prove that they went through a specific combat event. The fear “related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity” is enough.
But there is another cause of trauma that should be added to that list: the witnessing or participation in detainee abuse. Even though unrelated to combat, the torture and abuse that happened at prisons like Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are a form of “hostile military activity,” which we particularly rely upon in the War on Terror…

Read the full article here.

And please, if you have anything to give, help out organisations that are working hard to treat PTSD and to help these deeply-wounded soldiers heal:
Talking 2 Minds — Our favourite charity here at GML, run by people who understand PTSD in a way one who hasn’t experienced it simply cannot.
Help for Heroes — Another great organisation that helps wounded soldiers every day in every way possible. Andy McNab is a big Help for Heroes supporter, and you should be, too.


Andy talks about giving youngsters a better start, missing the army, Northern Ireland, making Kate Silverton blush and lots more…

Date 13 June, interview starts at 35min06

Go here to listen to the Kate Silverton show

Thanx Ali!!


A great article – with more news about Andy McNab’s upcoming projects!

Lunch with the FT: Andy McNab
By Max Hastings
Published: June 5 2010

A defence journalist who knows McNab has said, “With Andy, everything is business.” He hustles relentlessly, and has become an eager entrepreneur. As well as owning stakes in a security company and a recruitment company (of which he is a director), he is now backing a business called Ghost Speaker, which encrypts digital content for mobile phones and electronic readers. How did that one happen? “A night out with a friend who said, ‘It’s the way ahead.’” The friend was almost certainly right. “We’re just doing a deal with Currys and Dixons.”

But McNab never forgets his core product: “The most important thing is the writing – that’s what makes everything else happen.” He works six hours a day dictating his books, and is thrilled that he has been asked to direct a film of one of them, Boy Soldier.

“Success gives you opportunities, choice. How else could I have been asked to do a film? I told them, ‘I know nothing about directing.’ They said, ‘Don’t worry – you’ll have a really good cameraman.’”

For the full interview go here


Monday 24 May, 2010

Andy McNab was given unprecedented access to British Army welfare services as he gets to grips with some tough issues in his latest novel ‘War Torn’.

The story follows a platoon in Afghanistan who suffer both physical and mental injuries. And former soldier McNab, author of ‘Bravo Two Zero’, got some genuine understanding of the lives of the families left behind.

While counselling is available for any traumatised servicemen and women, McNab, a former SAS man himself, admits problems could arise because of the stigma about asking for psychological help.

“In the Army you’ve got this young macho environment,” he says. “ They don’t want to be seen as ‘jellyheads’.

But junior and senior NCOs are now trained to identify if there’s a problem and try and work it out at the early stages.

But believe me, you haven’t got loads of lads sitting traumatised in these forward operating bases, far from it.” [Post continues below ‘War Torn’ Special Offer]

Order Now to Save 50% on Andy McNab’s ‘War Torn’

He continues: “What we forget is that there’s a population of men and women in this country who like to fight. There’s a ten-month waiting list to get into the Army.

“If problems arise, it’s later on. Between 11-13 per cent of people who come out of the services have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in some form.”

McNab is now 50 and although he has been out of the army for 17 years the author is still shrouded in mystery. He has become famous for being anonymous, his picture always cast in shadow, his real name never revealed. Some wonder if all the secrecy is hype or necessity. He insists that after taking part in intelligence-gathering missions in Northern Ireland years ago, he and others could be in danger should his identity be revealed. He also served in Gibraltar, Germany and the Middle East.

But he admits that his new life as an author can be frustrating.

McNab was at one stage a technical adviser in Hollywood on movies such as ‘Heat’, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. And his play about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, ‘Last Night, Another Soldier’, is due to be staged by the Old Vic this year.

He explains: “I got into a world of ‘luvvies’ but I found some things frustrating. If someone booked an appointment for 9am, I’d be there. They’d say, ‘we’ve changed it’. That really used to annoy me.”

Source: 7Days


The Millennium Hotel group have kindly offered to host our very first charity dinner for us at The Millennium Knightsbridge Hotel  on Thursday 20 May to help us raise funds.  We are looking to raise money to help more veterans through our therapeutic treatment and get them back to living a normal life free from all the symptoms of PTSD.  So far we have treated over 200 veterans and are getting fantastic results with the guys feeling like they can get back into civilian life and enjoy themselves once again.

The dinner will have some great food, a night of entertaining cabaret as well as a fab raffle with all sorts of prizes including an abseiling opportunity.

If any of you would like to attend please get in touch with Annie at the Millennium Hotel on 020 7201 6330 or email mu.knightsbridge@millenniumhotels.co.uk This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and/or please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested in our charity and would want to help this worthy cause.  Please take a look at our website Talking2Minds and or give me a call.

I am going with a group of Talking2Minds people who will all be available to tell you all about the charity and what great results we are achieving so far and if anyone is interested in getting involved in helping this would be a great way to start.

Fiona Gordon Smart
Talking2Minds Fundraising



KinoFilm presents: Special Premiere + KinoShorts

Wed 10th February, 7:30 pm

£4, £3 cash on door

As a special & North West premiere we bring you the controversial micro feature documentary Diary of a Disgraced Soldier.

Showing fresh from its premiere at the recent Cornish Film Festival this film is not to be missed and the directors will be present for a Q&A directly after the show.

Greenroom Arts Center (Manchester’s centre for new extraordinary performance)
54-56 Whitworth St West
Manchester M1 5WW

Box Office
Open Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm
Call: 0161 615 0500

Go here to see full details