Karl Tearney joined the Army in 1963 aged 16 and served tours in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan as a helicopter pilot. After being diagnosed with PTSD he was put in touch with the NFA by our Medical Officer GP Dr Kate Goble before being medically discharged in 2015.
Karl has since taken part in a broad range of our events, including our battlefield to Malta, Founder’s Day at the Royal Hospital Chelsea and skiing holidays in France and Colorado.
“As a sufferer of PTSD and depression it can often feel like a lonely world and my time spent with you has really made a difference. There was such a great understanding of my need. Not only did it help me mentally but spiritually too as it’s so inspiring to be amongst other who are also suffering. I find that I am able to relax and feel like myself once more with others who understand me. I have been extremely lucky to have been looked after by the NFA. They have provided me with care and warmth. The NFA are my new family and I belong, I am proud once more. My gratitude could never be measured, as the scale just doesn’t exist, but I can say that in my view a smile is worth at least a million pounds and I left Colorado as a billionaire.”
Caroline Beazley suffered gunshot wounds to her hand, back and face whilst serving in Northern Ireland with the Royal Military Police in 1994. She also took a shot to her head, fortunately her helmet saved her life. Following her medical discharge Caroline did not attend social events until she was nominated to attend the NFA Garden Party in 2016.
“I know I was injured a long time ago and there are those who think that I should be over it by now, but ever since I have left the Army, I have felt like no-one ever quite understood, no-one ever quite got it. Like many other injured servicemen and women my very promising career was cut short, I couldn’t do the job I had trained to do and felt like I had been thrown on the scrap heap. I felt forgotten about and that hurt.
For me meeting other injured servicemen and women was the moment when the switch was flicked, the light in my head came back on. The Association made me feel included in the military family again, welcome into this family that understood how I felt, who got it. I was no longer forgotten, I belonged again to a new family, a wonderful caring compassionate family.”
John Brown served as a trooper in the SAS, seeing action in Malaya, the Oman and Aden. He came to the attention of the NFA in 2008 following the death in Iraq of his son Nick, who was also serving with the SAS. His son’s death, and the circumstances surrounding it, had taken a huge emotional toll on John and the rest of his family.
“My mind was doing all sorts. It didn’t look like it from the outside, but inside it was whirling around. I couldn’t sleep, I was all over the shop.”
John attended one of our lunches with fairly low expectations:
“I thought it would be just a meal and a drink, but it wasn’t. I met up with all these old boys and young lads who had been through some horrendous things. It didn’t take any of the pain away, but it levelled it off. The biggest factor in putting me back together was this association.”
Since that first lunch, John has been invited to several NFA outings, Royal Parties and holidays, often bringing former colleagues along for their first taste of one of our events. He now acts as an unofficial NFA co-ordinator in the Hereford area, helping other to benefit from our support.
Fred Hill flew 87 operational sorties in Hampden and Mosquito aircraft with Bomber Command in WWII. He also trained pilots and flight crews on a variety of aircraft before joining Transport Command in the Middle East. In total he accrued over 1,900 hours flying time during the war, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Mentions in Despatches.
After being demobbed Fred went into teaching, becoming a grammar school headmaster.
It wasn’t until 2015 that the NFA became aware of Fred when he attended the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace as part of the Bomber Command group; he has since attended a Christmas lunch near his home in Exeter and the Christmas Tea Party at St. James’s Palace.
“I am so grateful to the Not Forgotten for remembering older veterans like me. To be invited to such wonderful events is a great treat. I have made some good friends and I am enjoying a happy retirement and reasonable health so I have much to be grateful for. Meeting the brave young injured men and women helps you realise what dangers our Armed Forces still face. I will do whatever I can to support such a fantastic charity.”