Army must honour the Military Covenant – today’s Sunday Mirror

Commenting in today’s Sunday Mirror, Hilary Meredith has called for an urgent review of the treatment of ex-soldiers following the shocking revelations of decorated bomb hero, Wayne Owens.

Major Wayne Owens was honoured three times by the Queen, saved countless lives and defused nearly 1000 bombs in Afghanistan.

Yet his 27-year decorated career ended with him being dumped – after he asked for help in battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The bomb disposal expert confided in military doctors after suffering terrible nightmares and anxiety attacks from the horrors he witnessed.  But after two years of treatment he was told he was unfit to serve anymore, despite medical experts saying his condition was improving.  Rather than offering him a non-operational posting, as had happened with troops suffering physical injuries, the army ruled his career was over.  He was given a medical discharge and just £6,000 compensation to pick up the threads of his life.

Hilary said:

“A Parliamentary Inquiry would be a good starting point into the realities of the Military Covenant and what is being done and what is not being done.

“The reality is everyone knows once you’re out of the military you’ve got nothing.  In the US they have very good support for veterans but here we do absolutely nothing.

“I don’t think the MoD understands what it’s like when you’re medically discharged and you’ve got no way back in. You’re just out, that’s it.

“There’s no commanding officer you can request help from.  That’s why I think the Covenant needs to be seriously thought through.”