Ok, i guess there are a lot of opinions on this one..., and i need to be really careful with confidentiality issues.
Any advice for Iraqi interpreters who served alongside UK forces on patrol, and prisons in gulf campaigns, ? These are the guys who came to the UK as part of the gateway program at the close of the last gulf war.
They are not eligible for assistance from organisations such as combat stress, military veterans association, SSAFA, or any organisations that require a service number (as these guys were employed by, rather than members of, British UK armed forces)
British Legion, to their credit, are taking a discretionary case by case stance, and are providing some assistance in certain cases, but aside from the legion there is no help.
Bearing in mind that these are the guys who had to wear balaclavas every day to protect their identities, and had code names such as 'Bob', or 'Dave' to prevent them meeting the same fate as other Interpreters who's dismembered bodies were very often pulled out of bins, and found in side streets around Iraq at the hands of the militia.
Forbes.com reported recently that upward of 1000 interpreters were killed in the line of 'duty'.
In nearly all cases i have dealt with, the regiments these guys were connected to have acknowledged that the interpreters fought shoulder to shoulder with them, and in some cases regiments have even donated individual regimental funds to their cause....
These guys were not back room admin staff, they were at the pointed end of war.
So why does the apparatus set up to assist ex forces personnel in the UK deny these guys welfare/mental health/medical assistance ?
Any advice anyone ?