A Plaid Cymru MS has used a Senedd debate on the armed forces to call on the authorities to provide the necessary support to veterans when they return to civilian life.
Peredur Owen Griffiths said the increase in conflicts over the past 20 years has increased the demands and stresses on armed forces personnel, leaving many with complex health needs.
The MS for the South Wales East region said: “Many leave an operational service to return to Wales every year in a bid to make the transition to civilian life. A combination of discipline, good skills and excellent work ethic mean that they are well placed to contribute to the economy.
“Unfortunately, many will struggle as a result of PTSD and other health issues picked up during their service in the military. Veterans may have health needs, difficulties in accessing housing, and a small number may end in the criminal justice system.”
He added: “In the past, veterans were often neglected. This was something that was highlighted by the Westminster cross-party group on veterans, established by the then Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd.
“They published a series of recommendations more than 10 years ago, and some of those are now in force. So, while things have improved, there is still work to be done. I look forward to seeing the positive impact that Colonel James Phillips will make as the first Veterans' Commissioner for Wales.
“We owe it to the men and women leaving the armed forces to support them when they come back to their communities.
“We owe the communities they come back to the support needed to make the most of the valuable skills armed forces personnel possess. And we owe the world a duty to pursue the path of peace at every opportunity.”
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