“I went to Bosnia in 1995. When I got home I was a veteran. I was younger than my grandfather was when he returned from World War II.
“The perception that a veteran is someone old is incorrect.”
Mr Compain said older vets suffered physical injuries but these days, even with peacekeeping missions being the most common overseas assignments for our troops, post-traumatic stress disorder was prevalent.
“I have a friend who was in the first push to East Timor. He had to recover the bodies of teenage girls who had been molested and thrown into a well. Can you imagine? People have this view of peace keeping that it’s all about helping out and building schools but that’s not the entire picture.
“These days there are completely different health issues. The nature of conflict has changed as has the environment. There is less wounding, fewer limbs getting shot off and more illness due to environment al exposure. But PTSD remains significant.