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News Battlefield Stress Claims 30 Year Army Veteran

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Kerrie-Ann sent me this link a little while ago now, which I am finally getting around to processing onto this board. Basically, another casualty of circumstance, and forgotten when it all gets too hard for the employer, this time being the military, again...

GORDON TRAILL, with almost 30 years' army service, didn't realise he was a casualty when he came home after five months in Baghdad. He returned in September 2004, thinking his service had left no scars. His army career had inculcated a culture of not admitting to what your mates might think is weakness.

But the constant anxiety of Baghdad had taken a toll. He was discharged in March as medically unfit, with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After his return, Mr Traill started seeing "red flags", indicating all was not right. The first warning came when he recognised symptoms during a suicide prevention course: "I thought, 'this is a bit close to home'."

He knew he had a problem when he was asked to speak to wives of soldiers about the stresses their husbands faced in Iraq.

"I just broke down and started crying, because nothing could stop this feeling coming over me, and I asked myself, 'where did that come from?'." He now knows it came from Iraq. "In Baghdad there isn't any front line," he said.

"Where we lived and slept, there was constant stress, 24/7. Then came the shock of coming home. "You're so finely tuned in the centre of Baghdad and then the next week you're back in Darwin and you're going to the shopping centre. And you think, 'God, the noise here, the people, the sounds'. It's a really weird transitioning back into normal society after a fairly hot spot."

Mr Traill, formerly a warrant officer, says many of his former comrades are under extreme pressure because of the extent of operations. "It's a bit like collateral damage. The Government sends us to places, and I've enjoyed my time in the military, don't get me wrong, it's been in my system for 30 years, but because of the number of operations, there's got to be a percentage that have PTSD."
Source: The Age
Yes Gordon, I am one of those percentages from the Australian military, and I know exactly what you are saying, especially as an ex SNCO myself.
The link to this sad story


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