It is Remembrance Sunday on November 12 when services and parades will take place throughout the country. They mark the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian personnel in the two World Wars and later conflicts.
A report called Lost Voices, published by The Royal British Legion, revealed that UK veterans under the age of 75 were three and a half times more likely than the general population to suffer hearing problems.
More than two-thirds of British troops returning from Afghanistan suffered from severe and permanent hearing damage, according to a study into side-effects of the conflict.
And defence documents have shown that of 1,250 Royal Marine commandos who served in Afghanistan, 69% suffered hearing damage due to battle noise.
Almost all people who enlist are exposed to high levels of noise, from small arms fire, engines and blasts.
Support for veterans
The extent of hearing damage among service personnel was one of the reasons why the Royal British Legion launched its Veterans’ Hearing Fund. This helps veterans who suffer hearing loss during their service and who can’t be helped by the usual channels.
The fund may pay for hearing aids, peripherals or therapies such as lip reading. It applies to veterans across the UK. The aim is to help every veteran have the very best hearing technology available.
To be eligible for help from the Veterans’ Hearing Fund applicants need to meet one of the following:
- Have a war pension or armed forces compensation scheme for hearing loss
- Received a lump sum payment for hearing loss
- Applied for compensation for hearing loss
- Provided with hearing aids by the MOD
- Have service medical records that show hearing loss
To find out more about the fund and to apply for help visit http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/finance/grants/veterans-medical-funds/