America is not the only country whose treatment of military veterans is greatly lacking.The mental health of American veterans is an issue that is not being properly addressed.It has been reported that there are more deaths from suicide than combat in the American army. Still,it’s an issue that barely receives coverage in the media. I saw one CNN report about the treatment of American veterans.
Now,a Victoria Cross hero is speaking out about the British Army’s treatment of it’s veterans.Here’s more from the Telegraph:
“Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for twice saving the lives of colleagues in Iraq while under heavy rocket fire, said it was “disgraceful” that some veterans struggled to receive treatment that is rightfully theirs.
He said the Government was relying on military charities to cover its own failings and called on ministers to do more to help the growing number of his comrades suffering from severe combat stress, depression and mental breakdowns.
In his most outspoken interview since receiving the VC four years ago, L/Cpl Beharry told The Independent: “These are people who have served this country. Why can’t they get treatment? I don’t think the Government is doing enough for soldiers.
“Those who are still serving get some form of help for combat stress but even those who are serving don’t get enough support.”
L/Cpl Beharry became the Army’s most high-profile war hero when he was awarded the VC for “repeated extreme gallantry and unquestioned valour” for the two rescues in May and June 2004 “despite a harrowing weight of incoming fire”.
He was almost killed when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded six inches from his head during an attack on his convoy. Despite receiving horrific injuries, six weeks later he drove his vehicle out of an ambush and again saved his crew.
While serving with the 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment in Al Amarah in the summer of 2004, L/Cpl Beharry’s unit came under fierce attack more than 800 times.
The 29-year-old, who is still a serving soldier, has decided that it is time for him to stand up for the thousands of servicemen and women still suffering from post-traumatic and combat stress, having served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He broke his silence to reveal that almost five years after the incidents for which he was decorated, he still suffers from the severe injuries he received and is still racked by mental anguish and excruciating pain.
He said he has received first-rate treatment, but has chosen to speak out on behalf of less high-profile service personnel, criticising the fact that charities have been forced to step in where the Government has failed.
He described it as an outrage that former military personnel were forced to wait for NHS treatment: “I think it is disgraceful that an ex-serviceman or woman has to go to the NHS. The Government should have something in place for ex-servicemen and women.”
L/Cpl Beharry described the nightmares, mood swings and irrational rages that plagued many soldiers.”(End of Excerpt)Read the rest here.