Reservists with PTSD treated poorly, says ex-soldier
The Canadian military treats reservists who experience post-traumatic stress disorder like garbage, according to a former reservist.
Retired sergeant James Storey, who lives in Calgary, says he has been experiencing the emotional fallout of what he went through while posted in Bosnia, including anger and anxiety.
Storey said reservists, as part-time soldiers, do not get the support that full-time soldiers with PTSD have.
Read more about James Storey's experience in our online feature, Battle Scars. You can also hear about his story at 7:10 a.m. on Information Radio on CBC Radio One.
"I feel so … I don't know if the word 'violated' is the right word," he told CBC News.
"When [Defence Minister] Peter MacKay and [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper stand up in front of the media and they say, 'Oh, well, we're doing everything we can for service members with operational stress injuries. We're doing this, that and everything else,' it's a load of poo," he said.
Storey was a reservist who was sent to Bosnia to oversee Canadian, British and Dutch military police there.
He said he was shot at by snipers, and at one point he and a British soldier were given the wrong directions and ended up in a mine field.
Storey said he remains haunted by an encounter with a civilian woman who asked him for help before her husband killed her.
"To this day, it bugs me everyday. I still have nightmares of this cloaked woman [who] comes and asks for help … and I can't help her," he said, his voice cracking.
Storey said his reserve unit eventually kicked him out, after 25 years of service.
"'Get the hell out of our unit. You're going to be posted to the Joint Personal Support Unit,' which is what our troops call the 'broken people' unit," he said.
Storey said the unit is "where they banish you until you either get healthy or they kick you out of the military because you're no good for them."