2009
25.08

“The worst fear everyone in the SAS has is that they’d get binned form the unit if they said something – and they probably would.” – Bob Paxman

August 25, 2009
Pete Norman, Sky News Online

Britain’s armed forces are at risk of massive mental health problems because of their stressful work and a lack of support, an ex-SAS soldier says.

Ex-trooper Bob Paxman, 41, has broken the SAS vow of silence to reveal the risk soldiers face fighting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“The military have got a massive problem on their hands and they haven’t faced up to it yet,” Paxman said.

Paxman explained to Sky News’ Eamonn Holmes how PTSD symptoms can manifest themselves in troops.

“It can be anything from flashbacks, nightmares, depression or self-medication with drugs or alcohol,” said Paxman, who has set up a charity to help those suffering in silence.

“It’s a huge problem and we are getting a lot of telephone calls each week from the tri-services and the blue light services.”

The newly registered charity, Talking2Minds, which includes ex-SAS man Andy McNab and Falklands veteran Simon Weston among its patrons, uses cognitive, neuro-linguistic and time line therapies.

Critics claim the Ministry of Defence has not provided the support troops need, especially with increasing work loads post-9/11 with action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Over the years there have been systems developed to help guys cope with problems, so why should we let them suffer in peace when we can help them get back to a normal life?”

“I’m afraid the stiff upper lip of the British has made us sit back and not talk about what is happening – now it is time for help.”

Go here to read the Sky News article

Talking2minds is a Registered Charity 1131142 with a unique process that ‘eradicates the symptoms of PTSD’ and assists suffers regain their self worth, find their purpose in life and fulfill their potential. Many of these people are held back because of negative experiences.

“We assist people to make changes quickly and move forward in their lives. We offer help to anyone who has experienced trauma or negative experiences and are displaying…

the symptoms of PTSD, whether they have or have not been diagnosed by the medical system.

Most people are unaware of the true impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you’ve found your way to our website, there is a good chance that you, or someone you know, are one of the many thousands of people in the UK affected by Post Traumatic Stress each year.”

“You are not alone.”

Click here to go to the ‘Talking2Minds’ website 

2009
25.08

Published: 24 Aug 2009

The secret behind the new black bear insignia of the legendary B Squadron of the “Who Dares Wins” SAS regiment can be revealed today.
It dates back more than 50 years to when the unit was fighting terrorists in the Malayan jungle.

An SAS trooper, Peter Thompson, now 72, found a baby black bear after putting his hand in a suspicious hole while on patrol in 1958.

He adopted the cub, naming it Chieftain, after natives said its mother would kill it because of human scent.

When B squadron veterans, whose roll-call includes Bravo Two Zero heroes Andy McNab and Chris Ryan, were going through Squadron archives two years ago they came across an account of Chieftain’s “service”.

They decided to use the bear motif on several different kinds of Squadron memorabilia.

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

2009
31.07

BBC Radio 4
Saturday Play
Last Night, Another Soldier
1 August 2009, 14:30 on BBC Radio 4 (FM only)

By Andy McNab
Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Briggsy is just three weeks into his first posting in Afghanistan and is thrilled to be part of the action. But when his Rifle Section loses a man in battle, Briggsy is forced to confront the realities of war.

Briggsy …… Russell Tovey
Si …… Lloyd Thomas
Flash …… Paul Rider
Toki …… Damian Lynch
Mackenzie/John …… Stephen Hogan
Mum/Helicopter pilot/Radio Operator …… Janice Acquah
Emma/Tannoy …… Caroline Guthrie
Newsreader/Cookie …… Matt Addis

Directed by Vernee Samuel.

Broadcast
Sat 1 Aug 200914:30BBC Radio 4 (FM only) – Duration 60 minutes

Source: BBC Radio 4 programmes *

* the play is online for 7 days, so if you missed it…

2009
28.07

Clawed by the Panther – By Tom Newton Dunn and George Pasco-Watson
Published: 28 July 2009

VICTORY was declared last night in the bloodiest British offensive in Afghanistan so far – as our forces commander vowed the ten men lost had not died in vain.

Dubbed Operation Panther’s Claw, the assault lasted five weeks and involved 3,000 coalition troops.

A force of 500 Taliban were driven out of their central Helmand stronghold Babaji, the size of the Isle of Wight.
In one of the biggest UK-led attacks there, the enemy was encircled then blitzed by Apache helicopter gunships, battle tanks, artillery and bomber jets.

Go here to read the full article

Keep grip on Taliban – MyView – By Andy Mcnab

“There have been huge sacrifices but there are huge gains too.

We have taken the Taliban ground and won’t let it go. Afghans will now feel safer and it’s good for our troops to dominate the ground.

The problem is the Government doesn’t recognise we’re in a war – just that we’re fighting an insurgency.
 
Until this is acknowledged, troops won’t get the proper equipment they need to win it.”

2009
16.07

2009
24.06

We learned that Andy will be one of the speakers at the event “Speaking up for Heroes” on 16 July 2009 at the Royal Institution, London. 

“For one unforgettable night, several of the finest speakers in the UK will gather at the Royal Institution, London, to present on the subject of courage, of achievement, of overcoming impossible odds – to celebrate heroism itself.

The cause for this evening could not be more relevant or noble; Help for Heroes is an organisation formed to help those who have been wounded in Britain’s current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have raised millions of pounds over the last two years, and yet their work continues unabated. Speaking up for Heroes – the first event of its kind – will see great speakers celebrating and supporting our nation’s great heroes. Each speaker will talk of their own experiences, of great adventures, and give their own views on heroism, fortitude, courage and indefatigable will.

This is your chance to be part of this unique event, and to help raise over £100,000 for Help for Heroes.

All of the speakers and the Royal Institution are offering their services free of charge, so almost every penny raised will go directly to Help for Heroes.”