‘Thousands face mental scars from modern war service‘, The Age, 5 June 2016
Like the generations before them, many of today’s returned soldiers are facing enormous challenges adapting back to everyday life. Forty-one Australians serving in the Australian Defence Force were killed in Afghanistan after troops were dispatched in 2001, but since 2000 at least 246 serving or former defence personnel have taken their own lives.
John Bale of Soldier On says, ‘we are looking at thousands who have been affected psychologically, including through post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety’. The article describes the struggle of one of these men, Michael Williams.
Honest History has often contrasted the relentless and repetitive commemoration of war dead with the relative lack of attention to returned men and women. Over 26 000 Australians served in Afghanistan in 14 years. Soldier On also has a centre in Canberra. Honest History has donated to Soldier On and has been invited to visit its Canberra centre.