Posted in Uncategorized by leoniemilner on 05/11/2009

THOSE WHO LOSE THE STEP

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Myths perpetuated by the media surrounding military homelessness can sometimes be misleading and inaccurate. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the most common and uninformed diagnosis used to blanket the issue.

‘Soldiers, sailors, airmen and women rarely become homeless on discharge. They fall victim to homelessness gradually, for a variety of reasons. Causes range from the invisible, such as the psychological or behavioural disorders and loneliness, to the highly visible, such as drug or alcohol abuse, family breakdown, poverty or physical injury’.

Veterans Aid (VA) is the leading charity for homelessness amongst veterans in the UK.

From March to May 2009, I sat in rooms and, unfortunately sometimes watched people fall apart. Amongst those were ladies with children, ladies alone, Foreign and Commonwealth soldiers and a former high-ranking individual, who, for his picture insisted on anonymity and changed his tie through fear of being recognised. Every one of those people needed as much help as the next, proving that the picture and assumed shape of what a homeless ex-serviceman looks like, in many cases, is very wrong.

Veterans Aid act with swift intervention and provide ongoing support to any man or woman with a service number.

0800 012 68 67 (free phone) / http://www.veterans-aid.net/

http://www.rewritetomorrow.eu.com/reflections/personal-stories/my-unwanted-friend/

Photographs made at the Drop-In center in Victoria, south west London. Copyright of Leonie Milner 2009.

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