Probe re­veals se­vere short­age of medics Politi­cians send our kids to bat­tle.. They must look af­ter them prop­erly when they get home Mum of Afghan war hero who killed him­self

The People - - NEWS FEATURES -

should be manda­tory psy­cho­log­i­cal tests. No one is in­vul­ner­a­ble. Reece shot him­self in front of his pla­toon.

“Some­thing must have been very wrong yet no­body no­ticed any­thing. I find that hard to be­lieve.

“Most peo­ple who take their own lives do it pri­vately but Reece did it in front of all his friends.

“You don’t do some­thing like that un­less you are very troubled.”

Kerry added: “Where was the duty of care? I think the Army should in­tro­duce coun­selling ses­sions as part of their train­ing. I be­lieve it would save a lot of lives.” Reece had served in the 1st Bat­tal­ion the York­shire Reg­i­ment for nine years and en­dured a tough tour in Afghanistan in 2011-12. Two com­rades who Reece knew per­son­ally were shot dead by a rogue Afghan po­lice­man at a check­point. Mum Jackie, a bus driver from Hud­der­s­field, West Yorks, said: “Reece had be­come friendly with the Afghan and was at the check­point min­utes be­fore his com­rades were killed. But he never spoke about this to me.

“I sus­pect that would have been some­thing very dif­fi­cult to cope with.

“Maybe that is some­thing which sur­faced later in his life.”

Wor­ry­ing

Jackie added: “I’m speak­ing out be­cause I don’t want any­one else to go through what my fam­ily has been through.

“I want some­thing good to come from Reece’s death. The Govern­ment needs to be held to ac­count for all of th­ese sol­diers and vet­er­ans taking their own lives.

“I think all sol­diers should see a psy­chol­o­gist at least once a year. I can’t un­der­stand why the Army isn’t al­ready do­ing this. I’m re­ally sur­prised.”

For­mer head of the Army Gen­eral Lord Dan­natt – who backs the Sun­day Peo­ple’s Save Our Sol­diers cam­paign to im­prove PTSD treat­ment – says the MOD is “pa­per­ing over the cracks”.

Lord Dan­natt said: “Re­cruit­ment into the De­fence Med­i­cal Ser­vices has been a ma­jor struggle since the 1990s de­ci­sion to close all mil­i­tary hos­pi­tals.

“While this de­ci­sion was log­i­cal based on the re­duced mil­i­tary pa­tient pop­u­la­tion, it de­prived De­fence Med­i­cal Ser­vice per­son­nel of liv­ing and work­ing in the unique en­vi­ron­ment of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

“Be­ing a mil­i­tary doc­tor or nurse work­ing in an NHS hospi­tal is not the

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