By Alexa Fox @echoalexa Reporter (Thirsk & Ripon)
LOVED ones of veterans who have been emotionally or physically affected by war are telling their stories as part of a major archive and education project.
The Legasee charity is recording interviews with the partners and families of former soldiers to illustrate how serving in warzones not only affects the veterans themselves, but can also greatly impact on those closest to them.
The team from the Legasee charity recently visited the Phoenix House Recovery Centre at Catterick Garrison to hear the experiences of members of the Band of Sisters group – a support network made up of the wives and partners of soldiers and veterans.
Martin Bisiker, who founded Legasee in 2011, said it is important that their stories – and those affected by historical conflicts – are heard.
He said: “We record the interviews so that future generations can learn from their experiences.
“Many of them are used in lesson plans so that when schools look at a chapter in history, the children can learn about it through the people that lived through those events, because we know from the First World War and the Second World War that we have one opportunity to hear these stories before it is too late.”
Among those taking part in the project at Catterick was Band of Sisters member Jenny Worthington whose fiancee, Dan Eastes, served as a sapper before they met and later as a close protection officer in Afghanistan.
During Mr Eastes time in the Middle East there was an explosion in his camp and although he wasn’t seriously physically injured, the psychological effects of his time in a warzone later began to manifest in chest pains brought on by anxiety.
He was diagnosed with PTSD but it was only while Ms Worthington was researching help for him that she realised she also needed some support.
She said: “For me, particularly not being an ‘army wife’, it meant I didn’t know as much about PTSD and things like that.
“I have been around Army wives and they seem to have so much knowledge, they know a lot more about PTSD, about mental health, about everything really, and I found that not being an Army wife or from that environment, there was nobody out there for me saying ‘you need support and help too’.”
Legasee are keen to hear from people willing to share their stories, contact firstname.lastname@example.org