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The Sandbag Times Issue No: 51

The Veterans Magazine

NEWS SBT NEWS THE

NEWS SBT NEWS THE VETERANS’ MAGAZINE January Edition info@sandbagtimes.com 71 SUICIDES AS 2018 COMES TO AN END | 4 By ITV News As families across the country prepare to spend Christmas with their loved ones, for the families of the 71 serving military personnel and veterans who took their own lives in 2018 following mental health struggles, a rather different and more painful day approaches. The death toll exceeds the number of battlefield fatalities in 11 of the 13 years that British troops were in Afghanistan, ITV News can reveal. The research - compiled by ITV News with the help of veterans' organisations - found more than one third who took their own lives this year, and whose details are known, had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. One such sufferer was Warrant Officer Nathan Hunt who took his life on New Year's Day - the first in a long line of military suicides this year. Following the death of their son, Nathan's parents say they have "cancelled Christmas this year". "We just couldn't sit there around the table, with our other sons and grandkids and celebrate, knowing that he was 10 minutes down the road lying cold in a grave," his father Derek, told ITV News. "We just couldn't bring ourselves to do it. Like Nathan, 31-year-old Corporal Mathew Shillito also suffered from PTSD. The father from Leicestershire killed himself on October 1. Read more on ITV GET HELP NOW: Rewind @ Tommy Atkins Centre www.tommyatkins.co.uk | 6 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk

NEWS THE VETERANS’ MAGAZINE SBT NEWS January Edition info@sandbagtimes.com By The Independent Veteran & MP Paddy Ashdown Dies Paddy Ashdown served his country as a Royal Marine, a diplomat, as an intelligence officer in the security services, as an MP, as leader of the Liberal Democrat party and as emissary for the world community. Of politics and war – in the 1960s and 1970s, he saw active service in Borneo and Northern Ireland during the Troubles – Ashdown, who has died at the age of 77, once claimed that politics was more exciting and often more terrifying than active service. “On active service nothing happens for 90 percent of the time,” he said. “But in politics things happen all the time, and the bullets can start flying just when you least expect them.” For Lord Ashdown of Norton-Sub-Hamdon, as he was ennobled after leaving the Commons, collecting a knighthood along the way, the two were always closely linked. More Four in court after military operation on Thames Estuary Cargo Ship Four men detained when the military boarded a cargo ship in the Thames Estuary have appeared in court. The Special Boat Service descended on to the Grande Tema on Friday, its owner said, after concerns were raised for the crew's safety. The 71,000-tonne vessel was carrying a cargo including chemicals from Lagos in Nigeria to Tilbury, Essex. The men, of no fixed address, were charged with affray and Story: LBC remanded by magistrates until 31 December. They are Samuel Jolumi, 26, Ishola Sunday, 27, Toheeb Popoola, 26, and Joberto McGee, 20. Appearing at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court, the defendants spoke only to confirm their particulars, with McGee giving his nationality as Liberian and the others saying they were Nigerian. The military had been called in to secure the ship late on Friday night, after a 14-hour operation. Read more on this story. Story: BBC News Johnny Mercer Criticises “Tokenistic” Approach To Veteran Care A Conservative MP and former British Army officer has slammed successive governments for their "tokenistic" approach to caring for British veterans. Johnny Mercer served three tours in Afghanistan before retiring from military service in 2013 and opting for a career in politics. The MP for Plymouth Moor View sat down with LBC and told us that he thinks the UK lacks a central department to support veterans. When asked by Theo Usherwood, LBC's Political editor, as to where he thought the issue originated from in the government with regard to helping veterans, Mr Mercer said that he thought the government had a very "different view" of veterans. More... www.sandbagtimes.co.uk 7 |

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The Sandbag Times Issue No: 50
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