Military veterans ‘feel less valued than emergency services’

Military veterans 'feel less valued than emergency services'

Servicemen and women who leave the forces also feel much less valued than people working in the emergency services.

The findings have been published by the charity SSAFA ahead of Armed Forces Week.

The organisation, formerly known as the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, is calling for nationwide support and mentoring to all service leavers to help them successfully reintegrate into society.

The charity also wants compulsory life skills training and financial advice for all serving military personnel and an education programme for employers to help relate military qualifications to civilian qualifications.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson calls it the natural choice ahead of the commemoration of army, RAF and Royal Navy personnel

It feels this will help businesses to value a veteran’s experience.

The survey coincides with a new campaign that will try to change the way society views and treats ex-service personnel.

Social media users are being urged to share the #1000messages to promote The Poppy Factory.

The charity has set a target of helping 1,000 wounded, injured and sick veterans into long-term employment by the end of summer.

The Poppy Factory’s chief executive Deirdre Mills said The Poppy Factory has already helped over 950 veterans with disabilities back into work across the UK.

By getting behind our #1000messages campaign and making us your charity of choice during Armed Forces Week, you can help us hit our target of supporting 1,000 wounded, injured and sick veterans into meaningful and sustained employment by the end of the summer.

This will mean so much to our veteran community and will have a great impact upon their lives.

Speaking about his support from The Poppy Factory, one veteran, Steve, said About three years ago, I was diagnosed with having complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of my service.

I began to, very quickly, push people away; my family life and my employment. PTSD impacted my life in every which way.

The army taught me some amazing things in life, and with my condition those things were stripped away very quickly.

But The Poppy Factory helped me pick that back up, piece it back together and move forward.

Today, I feel healthier and I feel more engaged with my family. I also have a massive sense of purpose; my son has a dad back and my wife has a husband back.

SSAFA warns it is dealing with a younger generation of veterans who feel increasingly alienated from society.

The charity says the disconnect between younger veterans and the rest of nation cannot be simply left to the government or the military to resolve and must be addressed by society as a whole.

Its key findings from the report are

81% feel US veterans are more respected than veterans in the UK 75% feel they are not as respected as the UK emergency services 67% feel there is less respect for veterans when the armed forces are not in conflict 62% feel undervalued by society 89% feel civilians do not fully understand their needs 70% feel employers do not properly value their skills or abilities

Sir Andrew Gregory, chief executive of SSAFA, said Too many veterans feel undervalued and it’s our duty as a nation to rectify this.

Support for the armed forces means more than just supporting them during active duty, it means creating a welcoming environment for them to re-enter when their time is served.

The British public claims they do respect our armed forces but our research shows this respect dips the moment that their uniform is hung up.

Valuable skills are being brushed aside by civilian employers, to the extent that some veterans hide their service history altogether.

They experience discrimination against a part of their life that should be a source of the utmost pride. We owe these brave men and women more than this.

News Source SkyNews

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