This is the type of image that makes you smile – a soldier returning home to a hug from their children. There is a huge sense of relief within that photo in that they made it home in one piece. But many are not that lucky and are returning with mental illness issues, struggling to re-adapt to normal everyday life after all they have seen, then there are those who are not home physically in one piece. The sad thing is without the support of charities many of these men and women would be left with no support or place to turn to once they came back to Blighty.
It was during this week’s “The Great Comic Relief Bake Off” that showed again why there are so many still in need of our help. A middle-aged man returning to his family a changed man because of what he saw during his time in action. His wife was in tears as she spoke about having lost the man she married. This was all down to him suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. Where is the help and support that sees these individuals being given the support and help they deserve? Where is the government n all of this?
The news will report deaths and show coffins returning to the UK with somber tones of a newsreader – and as sad as that is we are missing all the others returning who need our help beyond returning to no help. Help for Heroes, British Legion and many other groups and charities are on hand but they rely on the generosity of the public – where is the money from the government? That same government that expects these people to go and fight wars that are contentious and questionable, but they step up each time to do their duty.
There must be a more structured, supported and sensible approach to these brave men and women to ensure they can get back to “normal”. There are so many home from horrific battles in places like Helmand who struggle to come to terms with what they experience, yet the armed services and ultimately the government just release them back to civvy street without the adequate support. Many end up homeless, on heavy medication, estranged from their families – how can we treat our armed services like this?
It is one thing to disagree with a war, but we shouldn’t just cast those who fight in them aside because of our politics. they are our fellow countrymen and women and we have a duty of care over them on their return. If we are making savings on social security payments by capping them we need to take those savings and provide homes, support and therapy – both physical and mental – for our heroes.