- By Sean Rayment 20:05, 2 NOV 2019
EXCLUSIVE: Our heroes don’t just die on the battlefield – and they should be honoured too
Jason’s Story: ex-Soldier on how he overcame PTSD and depression – Click link below for video and full article
A campaign is under way to honour Forces heroes who have died by suicide after witnessing the horrors of war.
The appeal seeks a special commemoration of serving personnel and former personnel who “lost their lives in defence of the nation as surely as those who died on the battlefield.”
It is backed by three ex-Services chiefs and former England football captain Terry Butcher, whose soldier son Christopher died following a struggle with PTSD.
The campaign is calling for the names of all those who took their own lives to be added to the Armed Forces memorial at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire.
Around 140 serving and former personnnel have committed suicide since the beginning of 2018. At least 59 troops have died this year, a 20 per cent rise on this stage of 2018.
Former Ipswich and Rangers star Terry, now 60, said his son and hundreds of others like him were also victims of war.
Christopher, a Royal Artillery captain, had been haunted by nightmares and flashbacks about Afghanistan.
The 35-year-old had been diagnosed with severe PTSD and medically discharged from the Army. Dad Terry said: “Those soldiers’ names should be on the wall as they were also victims of war along with those already engraved.
“Their deaths were a direct result of the conflict and the total lack of medical help and assistance afterwards.”
The campaign is led by Jo Jukes, whose Iraq War veteran husband Dave killed himself last year after suffering from PTSD for more than a decade.
Jo, 47, a Birmingham mum of two, said: “We need a memorial to show that veterans who took their own lives after being diagnosed with service-attributable mental health conditions died because they served their country.
“They may not have died on the battlefield but the mental wounds they received in fighting for this country in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and Northern Ireland are just as real.”
The plea is also supported by General the Lord Dannatt and General Sir Mike Jackson, both former heads of the Army, and ex-Navy chief Lord West of Spithead.
For video and full article https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/campaign-honour-military-heroes-who-20798278