Two years ago, we uncovered a sad truth on reporting and statistics related to Veterans in the UK. We investigated the methods used to record how many veterans were actually registered within the systems and found it badly flawed.
Since then, ministers and officials have been saying ‘statistics are comparable to those of a civilian counterpart’ and we have continued to say ‘How do you know?’ Low and behold, here in 2018, finally the public is now asking the question.
Unfortunately, fingers will be pointed into just one place. The government will be the political sacrificial lamb for this and, although to some degree I am in agreement that not nearly enough is done, we also have to look to our own back door. The news headlines over the past few days is not new. Veterans have been committing suicide at a horrible rate for years, veterans have been suffering horribly with mental health issues for years, it has been ignored. Not just by the government but by the country.
Yes, the Government do need to be more transparent on Veterans suicides in the UK as well as the mental health figures. We need to know the size of the problem before it can be fixed but we can all play a part in this.
When was the last time you encountered the ‘Uncle Albert Syndrome’? You know, the old line… “During the war…” And then the place clears. I’ve seen it in local pubs with young lads talking about their time in Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Ireland etc and I’ve heard civilians saying “Here we go again” and “You’d think he saved the world on his own”. It grips me like you would never believe. How many of those civilians actually think “This guy is trying to unload baggage here, he needs help” or, to be honest actually give a damn what he is saying at all. But when it hits the newspapers everybody jumps on the bandwagon. Here’s a tip people, STAY ON THE WAGON AND ACTUALLY HELP THESE PEOPLE. Become part of the solution not someone that just has their say when the problems hit the headlines because, by then, it’s too late.
So, to those in power, Get a grip of this, open up and tell the truth. You never know, you may even earn some respect from that. To the rest of the country, just help the Veterans in your area. Listen to them, respect them, help them. If not, we will have more like Danny Johnston, Nathan Hunt, Billy Rutherford, Andrew Dehaes White, Jack Wilkins, Paul Finnigan, Alex Tostevin, Robert Malloy, David Morris, David Godfrey, Stuart Hicken, Dave Evans, Jordan King, Alex Wasso, Kevin Williams, Kashaani Van Lancker, Nathan Shimwell, Paul Sparks, Christopher Butcher, Kirk McLaughlin, Reece Miller,