Today started early as there is so much going on in our heads at VIA. We are still processing the end of the walk and how mentally drained we are and the tired limbs need rest but there is no time for that to happen as we need to keep the momentum of the support we have received moving forward.
Our day started with a few posts on social media about our PTSD Awareness Month coming up which has been playing around in our heads over the last few days. We had always planned to initiate the PTSD Awareness Month in October this year with a low key approach and a PTSD Awareness Ball set for the 17th of October. This has taken on a whole new importance though and this has been caused by the apathy of the media to the reality of what is happening to our veterans and the constant denial of the MOD that there is even a problem. Our TEAM have contacted Forces TV on numerous occasions before, during and now after the walk through their website contact form but at no time have they even had the decency to send us an email or answer any comments on Twitter. This beggars belief as we know they have run stories on PTSD and have supported Neil Davis’s fantastic unsupported Not Broken- Just Damaged Walk across America
One of our TEAM contacted The Sun newspaper this morning to ask them if they would cover anything about our Walk 4 PTSD and in their words the reply was “too many nice people do nice things for charity“. He then went on to contact the Daily Mail and their response was even worse and the reply he received was “lots of people walk around the country, what makes your walk anything special“?
Now this was not a great start to the day but although negative we need to use this negativity to create something positive. We will use this negativity to help us highlight the very fact that the apathy shown by our press is the very thing that is going to damage veterans who fall on hard times.
The press know how powerful they are and the very fact that they are not interested in what has happened to our veterans after the pull-out from Afghanistan is incredibly destructive to the moral of those very people who have supported these ‘so called’ newspapers who are supportive of our troops. I wait with anticipation for the next story about Strictly Come Dancing in the same newspapers though…………..can’t wait.
Nothing has changed for VIA though, we have been going for 8 years without any media attention because they don’t want to run stories about veterans suffering from PTSD unless that is the fact they have committed suicide to sensationalise things, people like good stories as well though, we certainly need them sometimes and what they don’t seem to realise that there may just be that one veteran who reads about a veteran coming through PTSD which may just encourage them to make that first step to recovery.
So what happens now?
We keep moving forward is the answer and keep banging the drum until someone listens, if we do nothing then we except that is how it should be, not us though.
Our new APPEAL ‘Pledge a Pound – Save a Life’ will start on October 01st for PTSD Awareness Month and this is now happening on social media which reaches far more people than the rags we used to read.
Our veterans’ community is estimated at between 4.5 and 6 million people that are a voice that cannot be argued with but for it to happen takes people to stand up and make a difference. Get behind PTSD Awareness Month and make it something that the powers that be will eventually have to take notice of.
Only we few can make the changes that need to be made. Remember how a nation ignored its veterans from Vietnam. Our nation has been doing it for years, those who are suffering from mental health or physical injuries, homeless or serving custodial sentences are the evidence of this neglect and the fallout from recent wars has still to be seen.
“If we send them, then it is our duty to mend them”.
Many thanks to all who have contacted our TEAM to support us your support is greatly appreciated but we need more and I will keep asking.
To order a PTSD Awareness Badge or Bracelet then please contact Duncan Crockett, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you order a minimum of 10 and spread the word you need not pay any money up front, we will send them to you, you sell them to your family and friends then once sold send the funds to VIA.