It came after six people he knew from his time as a front-line soldier also killed themselves because they ‘couldn’t deal with the outside world’.
‘They need help from somebody that’s been there and done it – somebody who understands.
‘We have to raise this now because I don’t want another woman or child to go through this.’
The Royal British Legion is calling on the government to do more to help veterans suffering from Gulf war syndrome.
Up to 33,000 former soldiers could be living with illnesses linked to serving in the Gulf, where operations began 25 years ago, and it is not known how to effectively treat them, according to the charity.
Acute and chronic fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems, rashes and diarrhoea are among the symptoms, and the charity is urging the government to conduct more research into the issue.
Marie-Louise Sharp, of the Royal British Legion, which supports veterans, said: “We know the health of ill Gulf war veterans continues to be an important area for the government, which is why the Legion is calling for investment into research so we can understand how to improve the lives of those affected.
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35, who has severely limited use of his other arm and post-traumatic stress disorder, was told his benefit was being withdrawn because he was considered fit for work.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.
ABERDEEN ARMED FORCES DAY
- Beach Blvd,
Aberdeen’s Armed Forces Day celebration is one of the city’s showcase events within its Summer Festival Programme, as well as being part of the national Armed Forces Day celebrations.
It features serving military men and women, veteran associations, cadet and youth organisations who all parade down Union Street accompanied by local pipe bands.