Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

SAS Hero Andy McNab Demands Immediate Action to Aid Veterans

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

SAS Hero Andy McNab Demands Immediate Action to Aid Veterans

Article excerpt

Byline: Anna Davis Deputy Campaigns Editor

FORMER SAS soldier Andy McNab has called for plans to help military veterans back into civilian life to be implemented urgently.

He called on the Government to immediately bring into effect recommendations made by Lord Ashcroft, which include help to get veterans back into education and employment, as well as financial, housing, health and welfare support.

The author of books including Bravo Two Zero and Immediate Action also backed the Evening Standard's Homeless Veterans campaign, saying it is vital that "young men and women who put themselves in harm's way for us know that we care about their welfare".

He said: "I support The Evening Standard's Homeless Veterans Appeal for two simple reasons: they need our help -- and more importantly they deserve our help.

"Homeless veterans are nothing new: even the heroes of the Battle of Trafalgar were left to beg on the streets. The problem of veterans rough sleeping isn't as bad as it was, but we must take action to stop homelessness.

"Some veterans do find it hard to assimilate back into the civilian world. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and given what some of them have seen or been through, it is hardly surprising."

Lord Ashcroft's Veterans' Transition Review was published in February last year and found that the vast majority of those who leave the armed forces go on to lead successful civilian lives.

But he called for more to be done by the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces to help change perceptions of those who leave service.

He also called for a work placement scheme to be created to give veterans practical experience of civilian work, and said that those who leave the armed forces early should get the same support as longer serving personnel.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: "Of the 42 recommendations in the report, the Government has already delivered 22 recommendations in full or in part, and a further 13 are currently being developed in full or in part. …

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