The Pilgrimage

The Pilgrimage

In 2007 I joined 250 odd Falklands veterans on a pilgrimage back to the Falklands. It was the first time I had returned since the 1982 war and I was joined by my old battle partner Tony McNally. We stayed in London and departed from Gatwick airport and flew via Rio de Janeiro Brazil and then down through South America and over to the Falklands. As we approached two RAF Typhoon jets appeared alongside to greet us. The tension on the plane was palpable as the Islands came in to view. Like me many were seeing the Islands for the first time since the war and old traumatic memories were being awakened! We spent a total of seven days there and the people made us very welcome. For me however seeing the places I fought was very, very emotional and in some ways it felt like I was revisiting the scene of a crime and I felt both anxiety and guilt. It was also a very surreal experience knowing I had seen so much death and felt so much fear. Did the return do me any good? I don’t think it did to be honest I think it opened old wounds. It made understand how much I have given to those Islands that’s for sure. But I did finally see how beautiful the Islands are and the abundance of wildlife. I would urge anyone who has the opportunity to visit to do so.  I will add some photographs over the next couple of weeks showing the Islands now. Falklands 2007 (111)  

  • by Tony McNally Posted March 25, 2016 7:24 pm

    After coming back from the 2007 pilgrimage I had a complete breakdown and suicide attempt, a welfare officer from the VA later told me he has dealt with many suicides from veterans that had returned to the Islands. Some soldiers that never actually fought but got a medal return frequently I think that tells you something.

    • by Edward Denmark Posted March 25, 2016 9:11 pm

      Not good mate. It was a mistake for us I guess. But you are right if you never fought it won’t make any difference

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