Author Topic: Military recruitment - the disability angle  (Read 875 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Military recruitment - the disability angle
« on: 25 Dec 2017 11:16AM »
There's a bit of a to-do at the moment after the army's been expensively re-branding its recruitment logo & slogan, and someone else has said they shouldn't etc., etc.  But whilst they're arguing the toss between the politicians and the journalists are enjoying using it as an excuse to argue over patriotism or something, what they're missing is the fact that something's now more visible to people...disabled veterans.

I think that some things have changed to make disabled veterans stand out more.  Once upon a time, we had all-out war, so there was a sense that everyone suffered, but now it's 'just' volunteers, people with a choice.

However, that's happening at a time of cutbacks in care for people with sickness and disability, which also affects veterans.  Also, military personnel that were once tucked away largely out of sight in military hospitals may now be in civvy hospitals but in uniform, or veterans in sweatshirts showing military connections.  Veterans, particularly those with mental problems arising from military service, are no longer hidden away in mental hospitals, but are in the community or, in reality, in vast numbers on the streets.

Meanwhile, we see fundraising not just for the Legion, which we may mentally associate with old men in navy blazers, but also for Help for Heroes, who have projected an image relating to young people with injuries like amputations that have a very strong visual impact. 

So now young people are, I believe, less naive than I was.  And good for them.  I want our country to be defended, but only by people who are looked after properly in exchange.

Declaration of interest - I'm a veteran who never had any decent care at all for my PTSD and went into total meltdown over PIP when I realised they'd discounted it entirely, together with physical impairments arising from military service.  If they'd downplayed the effect of them, I probably would have felt differently, but that sense that the whole system wants to pretend that military service leaves no lasting effects really hurt badly. 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)