Sun, 7 March 2021

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Lifting Our Sights: Beyond 2030 – the impact of future trends on the transition of our Armed Forces Community from military to civilian life Partner content
By Forces in Mind Trust
Press releases

Negative labelling of our Veterans may well put the defence of our nation at risk

Dr Hugh Milroy | Veterans Aid

2 min read Partner content

Veterans Aid have responded to Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood who is reported as saying he fears employers could be put off hiring veterans over concerns they are ‘doolally’.

Veterans Aid has been on record as saying this for years and been roundly vilified and ostracised for doing so.

Two years ago I wrote to a Minister in the defence community explaining the reality of what we were seeing, from a frontline perspective, on a daily basis.

That letter was not even acknowledged!  So it’s great to hear agreement at  last - however belatedly. The 'hero, villain and victim' tags for veterans simply don’t help anyone.

Politicians, the media, the ‘Old Boys Club' and the Third Sector continue to exploit and promote exaggerated part-truths.

Scaremongering, which nearly always involves unverified round numbers relating to veterans in adversity, is one the key tools.

For example, the number of genuine veterans on the streets of the UK is tiny, but this doesn't seem to stop almost daily exaggeration and exploitation of the issue. 

Challenging the script is a constant battle.

I've been involved with my organisation for over 24 years and what I've seen and dealt with is almost always unrelated to military service.

I have always believed that if we continued to portray veterans in such negative, stereotypical ways young men and women will be deterred from joining the military.

Guess what - we now have a recruiting problem!  In the end those who have used, and continue to use, such negative labelling, may well put the defence of our nation at risk. 


In reponse to the Defence Select Committee report in to veterans mental health earlier this Summer' Veterans Aid stated: 'the mental health myth now exposed is but one of many used to assign unique vulnerabilities to veterans.' Read the full article here

Read the most recent article written by Dr Hugh Milroy - Will the COVID-19 pandemic actually disenfranchise veterans?


Associated Organisation
Engineering a Better World

Can technology deliver a better society? In a new podcast series from the heart of Westminster, The House magazine and the IET discuss with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

New episode - Listen now