Support for TA soldiers

I am very happy that there is going to be more support for TA soldiers returning from operations. The regular army is set up to support soldiers after stressful deployments like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, the communal living and support services all help keep soldiers on the right path when they come home.

The TA is not able to offer this safety net. TA soldiers do not live together and when a TA soldier returns from ops they are put back into a civilian world which does not understand, and in some cases does not care about what they have gone through. They do not have a big group of other soldiers living nearby to turn to for support, there do not have that group safety net.

For a long time the biggest “elephants in the room” in the MOD was the huge reliance that has been placed on the UK reserve forces. It looks as though this is being addressed, unfortunately it may be too late for some.

2 responses to “Support for TA soldiers

  1. James,Thank you for highlighting this news story. I have mixed feelings about this issue. As someone from the TA who was mobilised, I shared many of the same issues mentioned in the articles. I believe that I was fairly well treated upon return with one major exception. Everyone in the Army Medical Service who deals with returning reservists seems to have one thought uppermost in their minds “Don’t diagnose PTSD, for god’s sake don’t diagnose PTSD”. I don’t know what one has to have wrong in order that one’s condition moves from the catagory of “Combat Stress” to “PTSD”, but it never seems to happen. Why? If you are diagnosed “PTSD” the government has to pay you pension for the rest of your life, and, as we all know that’s not what the government thinks that part-timers are all about!! We are there as a cheap alternative to having a larger standing Army.I would have liked to spend more time “decompressing” like my regular counterparts. I would have liked to go to one or two “coming home” parties, where I could have got a lot of stuuf out of my system over a beer or two, but the current system does not allow for that. Instead, I landed in the UK after being 7.5 months in a war zone, handed in my rifle, got in a hire car, and 3 hours later was at home trying to persuade my 1 year old (who had been only 6 months when I left) that I really should be in “his” house!

  2. I served in the regular forces for 12 years and thought they treated us fairly badly in such matters…I had no idea how much worse the TA had it! Well done for highlighting this story.

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