VVFA Submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs Defence and
Trade References Committee
Inquiry into the mental health of Australian Defence Force
(ADF) personnel who have returned from combat,
peacekeeping or other deployment.
In its submission to the Senate Inquiry VVFA’s Graham Walker challenges misleading statements about the incidence of veteranns suicide and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) made by spokespeople for the Department of Defence that, tragic as veterans’ suicides are, their rate is no more than their peers in the general population.
The implication seems to be that, whatever is happening to troops in their military service including fighting the war in Afghanistan, it is not producing a higher rate of suicide than in those not experiencing military service. Such statements are misleading.
Whenever mental health of veterans is mentioned one can’t help recalling the book about the subject by Lord Moran entitled “The Anatomy of Courage” and his words “A man’s courage is his capital and he is always spending. . . . I affirm that men wear out in war like clothes.”
This book is recommended as compulsory reading for the military and all those involved in their care and treatment.