It is 26 years since the Lockerbie tragedy and I have written a lot about the day that changed my life for ever. Please read my blog from last year which was the 25 th anniversary where I spoke a lot on the effect it had on me and my friends in Mountain Rescue. A few have said “Heavy – time to let it settle” and forget it is very easy to say hard to do!
Last year definitely helped me chase the demons and a cathartic part was being with my stepdaughter Yvette who watched one of the programmes on National Television that I had been involved in. It was very hard watching especially with her as it did affect her and the rest of the family as I went into a dark period. Hopefully it will get easier every year but I can never forget what we were involved in and how many lives were changed after that tragedy.
Every year at least one of my team contacts me about this period so many still have hard times and we have learned so much from these dark days. Yet I still have the odd nightmare but at least things are better for the next generations in dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. ( PTSD)
When I arrived at Lockerbie very early into the tragedy I was asked by our Control at Pitreavie Castle what we needed. I said we would need psychiatric help. This was not accepted by many in the military at the time and I had several hard years afterwords with some good friends who were in the Mountain Rescue but not involved in Lockerbie. Nowadays it is part of an emergency service protocols looking for and after the effects of PTSD on all involved. These were hard one lessons and still we hear of problems to this day. On a pre – release medical from the RAF in 2007 I was questioned by a doctor how could I have had PTSD after being involved in SAR for 36 years was I cooking near by? ( I was a Caterer by trade) I walked out?
These were dark days and life goes on will we ever know what really happened and who was behind it and why ? This was a real tragedy that changed so many lives? Sadly it is still hidden in a veil of government secrecy and National security ,maybe someone will take up the torch and tell us the truth what really happened 26 years ago?
To all my Mountain Rescue colleagues and all the many other agencies personnel involved in this tragic period hopefully every year gets easier! My thoughts are with you all . Usually I get out for a walk in the hills and clear the head but I am still struggling just now with my operations and health. I will still go out though to my lovely local walks and clear my mind as the fresh air is always great medicine.
The 21 st of December is the shortest but also the longest day for some.
Note – pleases read some of my other Blogs on Lockerbie for a full picture!