Stuart Griffiths – Back From War

“Since the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Stuart Griffiths has been documenting the ‘homecoming’ of British troops who have been seriously injured through combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the British troops are getting pulled out of Iraq, the question still remains about the legality of the war – and now the big push for exterminating terrorism in the mountains of Afghanistan is being continually bolstered & justified, one must ask; What is the real military objective?

“Five days into the war, the tank in which Andy Julien was travelling was hit by friendly fire from another British tank. Two of his comrades were killed instantly and a third, Daniel Tweedy (see page 19), suffered 80 per cent burns. Julien’s legs were badly damaged, but it is the psychological effects that have been harder to bear. ‘The physical recovery was very difficult but at the moment it’s more about dealing with the mental issues. I’m still trying to get my head around it now, especially when I go back over what actually happened out there.'”‘

“Craig ‘Freddie’ Lundberg joined the Army after finishing his GCSEs. In 2003, shortly after his eighteenth birthday, he was sent on his first tour of duty in Iraq. Four years later he was back in Basra on his second. ‘It was different this time,’ he says. ‘It was a lot more dangerous.’ On the night Lundberg got hit, his section was involved in an operation to arrest a group of local insurgents when they came under fire. He was hit by two rocket-propelled grenades, which caused the loss of his left eye, serious damage to his left arm and severe burns and shrapnel wounds to his face. Lundberg’s right eye was also damaged, leaving him blind.”

“Following a mortar attack on his Basra base, Jamie Cooper became the youngest soldier to be wounded in Iraq, two months into his tour. Shrapnel from the rockets sliced through his stomach, leg and hands causing massive internal injuries. After being airlifted to Selly Oak Hospital, he spent the next nine months recuperating.”

“Mark Dryden served in Ireland and Bosnia before being sent to Iraq in 2003 and then again in 2005. During his second tour his vehicle was caught in a roadside-bomb explosion in which his comrade was killed and Dryden lost his arm.”

“Daniel Twiddy was involved in the same friendly-fire incident as Andy Julien. He spent a month in hospital in the UK recovering from 80 per cent burns and severe shrapnel wounds to his face. ‘My mum says she could look straight through my nose into my mouth at first,’ he says. He lost all hearing in one ear and is partially deaf in the other.”

“Chris Thompson was 18 years old when his vehicle was caught in a roadside bomb explosion in Al Amarah in 2004. The device, packed with ball bearings, damaged Thompson’s right foot and lower leg so severely that, by the time he was flown back to Birmingham’s Selly Oak Hospital, doctors were forced to amputate to avoid infection.”

read their complete stories and other’s on The Independent.

via Conscientious