Opinion: We need to help heroes

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Let’s get one thing straight: glassing a bouncer – or anyone else for that matter – is inexcusable, no matter what you do for a living.

Sheffield soldier Lewis Clews got what he deserved when a judge jailed him for attacking a pub doorman with his pint pot, but for me it shines a light on a much wider issue for which we should all take some responsibility.
Just last month a coroner ordered a review of mental health care for soldiers exiting the forces. That review came after a man from my home town of Warsop took his own life after losing his best friend on a tour of Afghanistan. Lee Bonsall’s family, supported by friends, have made a difference, and Lee’s death will not have been in vain. But the cause needs continued exposure.
These are young men and women who pledge their entire being to defending our liberty. We owe it to them to ensure they are looked after.
My brother gave the best years of his life serving the British Army in Afghanistan. His job was to dispose of improvised explosive devices which were killing and maiming his ilk, but also the people who call Afghanistan home. 
He exited the forces a trained killer. He left having been exposed to men and women dying in his arms. He has a photograph in his toilet from his passing out parade. There are as many ghosts as there are survivors in that photograph. Not all were killed in combat. In the days and weeks after he left the army, he too turned to drink. He was fragile and emotional, yet emotionally detached and physically powerful – potentially dangerous to others, and indeed himself. They were dark days.
It’s perhaps apt that in the centenary year of The Great War, someone has decided the trauma that comes with fighting for your country is very real and needs treatment. It’s been too long coming.
My brother could easily be another ghost. Lewis Clews could, too. We do not want to have to remember them. We need to help them.
by James Mitchinson
Editor