Recent figures from the Ministry of Defence tell us that, in the last decade, over 190,000 British Soldiers have been sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, with about a quarter of those having been in both war zones.
We work for serving military personnel on a very regular basis, and we go behind the wire to advise soldiers most weeks. It is always shocking to actually find out how many servicemen have been severely injured on active. The sad thing is that these injuries have become so very common, that the news really reports them – focusing only on palaces, which are a small percentage of the number of soldiers who are left with often horrendous injuries – including multiple amputations.
In fact, according to figures on the website of the MoD itself [which you will find at http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanBritishCasualties.htm ] in the period between 1 January 2006 and 31 August 2012, the military reported the following casualty levels;
• 2,005 UK military and civilian personnel were admitted to Field Hospitals and categorised as Wounded in Action -these injuries are considered serious – the figures do not include minor injuries.
• 4,109 UK military and civilian personnel were admitted to Field Hospitals for what is described as either “disease or non-battle injuries” [non battle injuries are apparently classified as any injury not caused by a hostile act – these include traffic accidents and sports injuries for example
However the harm suffered by UK servicemen is not restricted to physical injury. War is a traumatic experience for soldiers and research shows that around a third of war veterans will get mental health problems, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as a result of what they have seen and dealt with whilst serving in the forces. This is particularly true with severe trauma relating to disfigurement or amputation.
Many military personnel, quite often frontline soldiers, will develop symptoms such as clinical depression, sleeplessness, nightmares, restlessness and feeling emotionally numb. Symptoms can often worsen with time and can lead to alcohol or drug abuse, and sometimes criminal behaviour.
While the psychological effects of war on an individual cannot be changed, we now have a better grasp of the ways to treat the problem. Often, treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) can really help an individual.
It is important to allow returning war veterans the opportunity to discuss their problems openly, knowing they will be treated with understanding and given the help they need to get their life back on track.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from a physical or psychological injury as a result of military service and you think they might be entitled to compensation, get them to call or email our special military injury claim solicitors – personal injury solicitors who understand the military.
Contact Our Military Lawyers
We represent serving military personnel throughout the UK, and those posted or deployed abroad – and those who have retired from the military. So wherever you are based, for specialist, clear, practical legal advice, get in touch with our Military Lawyers today:
• By phone on 01722 422300 or
• e-mail our team using the contact form below
Comments or questions are welcome.