A soldier today reveals how he was booted out of the Army after his hearing was damaged by mortar attacks… only to be REFUSED compensation because his injury wasn’t bad enough! Coldstream Guards drummer and machine gunner Jamie Geary says he feels betrayed.
And he fears he is the first in a new wave of soldiers with minor health problems who are being axed as the Forces try to save cash amid Government defence cuts.
But Jamie was still cleared to go on a seven-month tour in Basra, Iraq, where his base was subjected to several mortar attacks.
In 2007 another ear test confirmed his hearing had deteriorated and the specialist said it would get worse over time.
After that, Jamie’s 11-year Army career began to go downhill. In 2009 he was preparing for frontline duty in Afghanistan when he was told he wasn’t fit to go and given a desk job instead. He desperately tried to retrain as a dog handler and then a military guard… but his attempts proved fruitless.
Then last November he was called before a military board and told he was being medically discharged because new tests showed his hearing loss was between 6 and 14 per cent.
To add insult to injury, Jamie then discovered compensation was only given for 20 per cent loss of hearing and above.
He said: “To say I was upset is an understatement. I was damned good at my job and I couldn’t believe I’d been picked. I did try to argue it but it was like fighting a losing battle.
“I don’t even have to wear a hearing aid,” says Jamie, 27, who had lost only about six per cent of his hearing. “I was desperate to stay in the Army. I just think they are kicking out perfectly good men and women to save money. ”
The Iraq and Northern Ireland veteran, now scraping by on benefits with his wife and two children, said a routine test in 2005 showed his hearing had been slightly affected by exposure to noise from training ground explosions and his drumming.
Source : Sunday Mirror Read More: