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Our Soldiers: Return to Civvy Street

Sun Nov 10, 9-10pm, More4

Staff Sergeant Paul Wilkie has spent 22 years in the army, but it doesn’t take long for him to call civilian life ‘fucking cut-throat’. Even so, he’s bullishly confident about finding a job. Not so Corporal Dave Edwards, for whom fridges represent morgues, while cold meat reminds him of corpses and bin bags bring back memories of what he used to stuff into them – his teenage son bears the brunt of his misery. And Corporal Andy Reid, a triple amputee, is finding that being a hero doesn’t pay the bills as he prepares for fatherhood.

For all three men, such conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder are a struggle to acknowledge, let alone address. This isn’t the first documentary examination of post-military life, but it’s one of the most acute and unvarnished. All of them – even Wilkie, as reality gradually intrudes – offer frank and clear-eyed assessments of their situations, and, while never less than respectful, there’s none of the ‘brave boys’ tubthumping that can sometimes mar such films. A hugely worthwhile addition to the plethora of Remembrance Day programming.

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