Betrayal of our wounded veterans

When former Lance-Corporal Mark Dryden walked in to be assessed for the new incapacity benefit, the doctor asked him if he was right-handed. If it was a joke, it was lost on the soldier, whose right arm was blown off in Iraq by a roadside bomb that killed a close friend. Eight years after being promised that Britain would honour its duty to him as an amputee war veteran, Mr Dryden, 35, who has severely limited use of his other arm and post-traumatic stress disorder, was told his benefit was being withdrawn because he was considered fit for work.

“If I am fit for work, why can’t I join the Army again?” said the former non-commissioned officer in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. “When they said I had to go back to work, I had an anxiety attack, the depression sank back in. When it [the injury] happened I felt let down by the Army, not my unit or my mates, but the military and now I feel let down by the Government.

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Chris Morgan, who volunteers at the wood workshop, told ITV News Tyne Tees that it was a fantastic addition to the facilities.

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We have seen a 26% increase in the number of ex-Service personnel seeking help for mental ill-health and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) over the last year. This increase is mainly accounted for by a marked rise in those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan seeking help.

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