BBC Onepolitics show


Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Sunday, 21 March 2010

Iraq war soldier says maimed troops lack proper support

Sean Stowell
Producer, Politics Show for Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North Midlands

Adam Douglas

Mr Douglas claims many wonunded troops would rather "be killed outright" than face the Welfare State.

A soldier seriously wounded in Iraq says troops are telling him they would rather die than be left disabled and dependent on the welfare state.

Adam Douglas, 42, from Leeds, says it took him two years to win even a care allowance, and says many other soldiers are having the same problem.

He told The Politics Show soldiers going to war say they would rather "die than endure the humiliation".

He is currently backing 47 veterans in appeal hearings for various payments.

Critically injured

Mr Douglas says the lack of support he received after being discharged from the army in 2003 inspired him to set up his Forgotten Heroes charity which gives advice and to wounded personnel.

He was injured by a rocket-propelled grenade fired at a wall behind which he was hiding. The blast left him with critical internal injuries which mean he is now kept alive by drugs and medical procedures he has to endure daily.

He says soldiers going out to Afghanistan say to him and the veterans he is supporting through his online charity they would rather be dead than left having to go to tribunals to appeal for care allowances.

Adam says: "They would rather be killed than suffer the way we have with our own experiences. That's a bit of a damning statement coming from our forces.

Discredited war

"Take my own experiences - and these are not individual experiences - I was left 70 per cent disabled with war injuries and it took me two years after my original claim to win care allowances.

"My wife was looking after me 24/7 and was holding down a job as well as looking after my extreme disabilities and our young children."

The father of two says he never thought he'd be appealing for a care allowance at a tribunal three years after being critically injured fighting a "war which has been so discredited".

He "never imagined" he would also be left wondering why critical illness cover had also been refused.

Prayers for dead soldier's family
28 Feb 10 |  Cornwall

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific