Ex-Paratrooper goes on hunger strike over the treatment of Falklands veterans with PTSD

A former paratrooper has gone on a hunger strike until Remembrance Day to demand better support for veterans.

Gus Hales, 62, who fought in the Falklands War, claims the treatment of former servicemen is 'shocking' and intends to fast until November 11 - Remembrance Day.

Mr Hales joined the army at the age of 18 in 1976 before serving with the Royal Engineers in the Falkland Islands in 1982 before also serving in Northern Ireland.

He began his strike on Monday October 29 outside charity Combat Stress' PTSD treatment centre in Audley Court in Newport, Shropshire, where he had been receiving treatment before he claims it was cut off in 2016.

Mr Hales hopes his protest will raise awareness of the lack of mental health care for soldiers and admits he was traumatised by his experiences serving his country.

Combat Stress said they were 'concerned' by the hunger strike and had offered Gus opportunities to be reassessed for treatment.

Yesterday, November 4th, General Sir Peter Wall, president of veterans’ charity Combat Stress, pledged to review cases of former service members treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to the Daily Express.

He handed the 62-year-old a letter, apologising for his treatment.

Mr Hales called Sir Wall, who is his former troop commander, 'brilliant' and that he would continue his protest to highlight the lack of mental health care for soldiers.

Married father-of-one Gus, who lives in Builth Wells, Wales, said: "My work involved finding and clearing minefields. Imagine your worst nightmare, being in a minefield where your next move could blow your leg off while being shelled at the same time."

"Being put under shell fire is the most terrifying experience."

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