‘Put me back in the army. Make me feel safe again’. On the face of it, an absurd statement. But it’s easily explicable in the light of Chris Terrill’s film during which he follows former soldiers as they struggle with the ghosts of the past. Despite 32 years on Civvy Street, Rudi still hits the deck when a car backfires and sees builders on roofs as snipers. Peter was jailed for kidnap and extortion after being discharged (due to epilepsy) without seeing active service.
But more generally, all the soldiers featured here struggle with identity issues and a general lack of structure in their lives. Happily, a few solutions are at hand, one involving gardening; another, horses. They feel a bit like halfway houses, insulating their clients from their problems rather than fully tackling them. But even so, they’re better than nothing. A worthwhile piece of post-Remembrance Day programming.