Thursday, 11 December 2008

Jack - a soldier's story

Last night I watched a documentary about 24-year-old Lance Corporal Jack Mizon. Mizon was involved in full-on fighting in Afghanistan, and saw his friends die and get injured. He was honoured for his bravery. He seemed a regular guy, doing a job he loves for £19k a year.

But back home he struggled to adapt and unsurprisingly gets into trouble (assault, GBH & goes AWOL) . The contrast between the footage of him fighting for his life in Afganistan and then on guard duty in Aldershot is stark.

Through it all he seems like the boy next door who you always want to be on your team. And yet I was left feeling we have failed him. Are we really surprised he struggled to adapt? He clearly can't go around punching people to the ground when he gets angry but what else could we expect?

Give it a watch on the BBC iplayer here ... but it expires in 6 days.


Janine Byne said...

I was compelled when I watched the programme the other night and in regard to your comments Sean- he seemed completely lost on returning to England - not only trying to re-adjust to life back home in the UK, but also coming to terms with the loss of his friends in Afghananistan. It was wrong what he did to beat up on people for his own anger and frustration - but how does anyone know what he was going through.....He didn't talk to people because he said they would not understand, which I think is really sad. We are only human at the end of the day, not super human.
I think it was also sad that he left the army after all it was his dream.
I think he should be very proud of himself for what he did- he was a very brave young man in the line of fire.
Hope the comments get past onto him.....
J9 Surrey

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to poor Jack. British people do not realise what our brave young lads go through. Many of them are little more than kids and they go out and lay their life on the line for us. They are in very difficult circumstances, they make quick decisions few of us would ever have to make, they are responsible for very expensive equipment and their fellow soldiers rely on them for their lives. Imagine what they go through in Afghanistan. We just don't realise as civilians. Jack was naughty to get into fights but I really feel we should support him and the army should counsel young lads better. Also, this poor young lad now has a criminal record. Perhaps young soldiers should just be dealt with by the army who understand why they get into trouble. Thank you Jack for fighting for us. Best of luck for the futute.

Sean Green said...

I am sure Jack's was & is a complex situation, which must also be common to service personnel returning from a conflict zone.

But with Jack we now have a face, a story, a person captured on film. We have heard his questions and watched him try to process it all. It simply grounds it for all to see.

It is more than great film making, becasue it has left us unsettled. I somehow want to be part of the solution to help our men & women who serve our country so well.