Download track for war vets
Safe from blast ... British soldiers land after Argentine attack on the Sir Galahad during the Falklands War of 1982. 258 British and 649 Argentinians were killed in the space of just 2 months.
By SIMON WESTON, Falklands War hero
May 29, 2007
FORMER Welsh Guardsman Simon Weston, 46, is living testimony to the agonies still suffered by the veterans of the Falklands War.
Here he explains what the re-release of Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms means to him and other old soldiers like him.
TWENTY-FIVE years ago I was injured in the bombing of the Sir Galahad. The results are still clear to see. I was not alone, of course.
Hundreds of my former brothers in arms were also physically injured.
Most people know about us — after all, my face is hard to miss and a guy with a missing arm or leg does tend to get noticed.
What is not obvious are the hundreds, if not thousands, who returned carrying mental injuries.
Injured in explosion ... Falklands War hero Simon Weston was burned onboard the Sir Galahad when it was hit by Argentine aircraft
See the new video for Brothers In Arms
Almost all Falklands veterans know someone who has taken his own life. Sights witnessed in that short, but incredibly vicious conflict are not easily forgotten. To a combat veteran, the words: “We will remember them” are truly accurate.
Imagine talking to your best mate one moment and then picking up his body parts the next in the aftermath of a landmine explosion.
Consider how it feels to see friends die horribly and be racked with guilt and nightmares for years, convinced there was something more you could have done to save them. To this day the guys who went through these traumas still suffer in silence.
They are the reason statistics show more Falklands veterans have committed suicide than died in battle.
So how do we help the surviving men and women who gave everything to preserve the liberty of British people? Remember that the Falkland Islanders were, and remain, British.
There is a simple process that works: Returning to the Falkland Islands on a personal pilgrimage has proven to have a huge positive effect. We know of no veteran who has committed suicide after revisiting the Falklands.
Something very cathartic occurs when a veteran visits the source of his torment. He puts together the fragments of what happened and then pays his respects to his mates who never came home. Seeing the gratitude of the islanders and hearing the stories of what it was like to live under an invader has such a positive effect. It literally changes and saves lives.
Veterans return transformed, at peace with themselves.
These are men and women who could otherwise become another casualty of the Falklands War.
Mark Knopfler has kindly reissued the song Brothers In Arms. It is an anthem to all those who fought for the Falklands.
All the royalties are going into a fund which is ringfenced for funding these pilgrimages.
At around £1,000 a trip it’s not cheap but believe me it’s worth every penny.
This is a new version of the song not previously released and is much more personal.
To us it’s special because it speaks of the sights we recall, especially lyrics like “These mist-covered mountains” and “You did not desert me, my brothers in arms”. I hope readers of The Sun can help a little by buying the song.
And that you too do not desert my brothers in arms.