NEWS COMMENT: Being caring shouldn't just be reserved for Christmas

They have fought to defend the freedom many of us enjoy now.

Monday, 27th November 2017, 6:08 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 10:02 pm
Normandy veteran Charlie Pratt, 93, of Paulsgrove, and Pompey legend Alan Knight

But sadly, the toll of service for many of our veterans can be tremendous – for some, it can be too much.

If it’s not the mounting numbers of servicemen and women battling PTSD, then it’s those we hear of now living on the streets – or worse.

Take the story of Andy, the homeless veteran who was living in a tent in Hilsea a few weeks ago.

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A picture of his sign, appealing for work (and note: not demanding money from passers-by) was shared on Facebook.

Within hours the image went viral and many went to his aid, helping him find a shelter and work. It was the epitome of Christmas spirit – albeit a few weeks early.

But what about those veterans living silently in our community, battling PTSD or loneliness over Christmas, with nobody to comfort them?

Shouldn’t we all have a responsibilty to watch out for them?

That is what The News is today asking our readers to consider.

We’re not asking the world of people – just for them to be neighbourly.

It can be as simple as chatting to an elderly veteran or checking up on a family member who has served in the forces.

As we report today, Christmas for many can be a difficult time, full of mixed emotions.

Some have desperate pangs of survivor’s guilt, remembering their comrades who may have died – but are too proud to speak out and talk to someone.

Charities – as amazing as they are – can only do so much.

Considering Hampshire has one of the largest veteran populations in the UK, the community should pull together to lend a support hand. So please, don’t leave our veterans out in the cold this winter.