We use cookies to optimise your experience on our website. If you continue we'll assume that you are happy to receive our cookies.

I have tremendous respect for you, Jimmy – for your efforts and understanding of what we have survived as soldiers.

- US Special Forces veteran

Thanks for the Guide. I needed this information

- Vietnam veteran

A magnum opus

- Major General Dr R. Short, Director General British Army Medical Services 1996–1999

I felt your experiences as if my own, as I had a career as an Infantry Officer in the Punjab Regiment and fought a messy war in 1971 with India. I spent two years in captivity as a POW and your Guide has enormously helped me.

- Veteran captain, Pakistan Army

Thanks for the excellent booklet on PTSD. Very useful, well done.

- Gulf War and Afghanistan veteran

Thanks and it’s a good thing you are doing – the Guide explained things to me the psychiatrists failed to do, it made sense.

- Gulf War veteran

Many thanks for all you did for the young Para, Jimmy. He said, “It’s as if the guy can see inside my head.” That is what he said to me after he read your Survival Guide. Once again, my sincere thanks.

- A prison ‘listener’, referring to an Iraq war veteran on suicide watch

My congratulations on the Survival Guide. I think it is quite outstanding, and for my welfare and clinical staff a really helpful insight into many of the things that they encounter as they go about their work. I will commend this work to anyone who shows more than a passing concern in the issues that you raise.

- Commodore Toby Elliott, Chief Executive Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society (Combat Stress)

A Statement from the Author

Corporal James Johnson in 1968This disclosure has been 44 years in the making, because that is exactly the same length of time since I was first unknowingly psychologically wounded by combat related PTSD in Northern Ireland in 1972.

Although, regrettably in the early 1970's PTSD was virtually unheard of, nor looked for in soldiers involved in traumatic incidents, especially if the disorder had no immediate effect on the soldiers fighting capabilities. So like many thousands of other veterans of Northern Ireland, and the many subsequent conflicts since, I was 'missed' and not diagnosed with combat related PTSD, which left untreated is the cause of very high rates of alcoholism, divorce, homelessness, prison and suicide amongst these veterans.

Disastrously I now know that my undiagnosed PTSD led to the tragic deaths of 2 innocent men, and consequently resulted in me serving 2 Life sentences and nearly 40 years in prison. Nevertheless and amazingly in 1986, fate seemed to step in, as a dam wall barrier of my subconscious and hidden away horrific experiences of my tours of duty in Northern Ireland was finally pierced. These terrifying revelations led me to believe and realise that something was seriously wrong, especially with my Court convictions. This was despite the fact that I had pleaded guilty to the murders of these 2 men at both my trials. I knew I had killed them, knew I had to be punished, but I also knew that something was genuinely not right, and I was determined to find out what.

In 2000 I was diagnosed with PTSD by the War Pensions Agency, then in 2001 I was diagnosed with severe PTSD. This was for a PTSD Group Civil Action against the Ministry of Defence, there were 250 veterans on this 1st Group Action against the MoD in the Civil Court, and the case lasted 18 months, but many veterans lost their lawsuits in this heavily contested action over this period of time. However, I went on to win my case and the MoD accepted this, but I was not granted any compensation because the MoD had Crown Immunity up until 1986, and claimed that the cause of my PTSD occurred in Northern Ireland in 1972.

Still even though I was not granted any compensation claim, these medical reports now gave me a reason 'why' I was in prison. Appallingly this mental disorder was never taken into account at the time of my trials, and consequently I was never treated for combat related PTSD during my first prison sentence, therefore in a way I was also failed by the Criminal Justice system. Yet over the past 4½ decades of conflicts, many other veterans who unknowingly suffered combat related PTSD will also have been missed and wrongly processed through the Criminal Justice system. Not only is this unbelieveable, but it's inconceivable, as it's not rocket science to realise that the biggest difference between veterans and non-veterans in the prison system, is that veterans of conflicts may well be suffering from cobat related PTSD. Therefore all veterans of conflicts in the prison system should be checked, and if found to be suffering from this mental disorder then treated. If not, they are coming out of prison in exactly the same condition they entered and still unknowingly suffering combat related PTSD - as this hidden and devestating mental disorder does not miraculously disappear with age!

The Veterans' Survival Guide is a book that will revolutionise the lives of veterans and their families who are suffering from combat related PTSD, by giving them the knowledge and ability to recognise this mental disorder in its early stages. It is a complete, comprehensive, easy read; written to assist veterans and their families understand what combat related PTSD is really all about, as this up until now has never been achieved or understood in its full significance. The Survival Guide is a first, it's unique and accordingly there is now no reason whatsoever for veterans Worldwide to be unknowingly suffering from this mental disorder anymore.

Thank you for taking the time to hear my voice, I hope my book helps you and your loved ones.