I received the following from a friend and and a veteran from Scotland. So true it is for all soldiers of all the armies of the world.
I watched a TV programme recently and the message it told was in relation to the way we treat our Soldiers, … so I penned this:- Kindest Regards. Adrian.
The trauma that our young Soldiers face on a daily basis is placing a heavy burden on their shoulders. Walking down a dusty, dirty road in some far flung corner of the earth, expecting to be fired at by enemy forces. The constant stress of being a target will be too much for some young men. They are expected to have total control of their actions when bullets and bombs are reining down on them. They are expected to react with the same cool detachment that one would find in a court of law. If they shoot to defend themselves they are castigated by the higher authorities and subjected to days of searching questions. Young men without the knowledge of the law find themselves involved in a process they do not understand and have not been prepared for. What the authorities seemingly fail to understand is that these young men’s lives are in constant danger in a situation that the same authorities have exposed them to. Terrorists of any description always have the advantage, shoot him in the back, or blow him up with a booby trap bomb. They never attack face to face, they skulk in dark places with killing on their minds.
A soldier must be able to defend himself as he is really the victim when we put him in these situations. I do not
believe in indiscriminate killing or revenge attacks, all that does is alienate the people we are trying to help.
Aggressive force by terrorists must be countered with the maximum force our soldiers are capable of delivering.
Fear of retribution by our own side is leaving the soldiers vulnerable to the forces of evil. They must be given the freedom to act in the way that they see fit given the circumstances of the assault against them. Failure by the authorities to defend our soldiers and to debrief them with sensitivity is destroying their morale. You can not fight a war looking over your shoulder with the fear of punishment from your own side.
The conscience and good judgement of our young men must be relied upon during enemy contact. The right and
wrong can be sorted later. There are many young men in our armed services who have been subjected to dangers and terrors beyond the imaginings of civilians. They are being traumatised on a daily basis to a point where they are liable to snap.
When the tour of duty is over they find it impossible to return to a normal state of living. They have been damaged,
by our government who must look after them for the rest of their lives. The government has broken them and
it is the responsibility of the government to fix them. Traumatised Soldiers, many suffering from post-traumatic
stress disorder, need help in rebuilding their broken lives. Post-traumatic stress disorder is just as damaging as
a wound inflicted by a bomb or bullet. They get little or no sympathy as they have no scars or missing limbs to
show you. Until post-traumatic stress disorder was recognized as a real medical condition these poor unfortunate men were tried for cowardice and shot.