Warrior armoured vehicle Op Cabrit Credit BFBS
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'These Are My Sounds' - The Combat Audio Getting People Talking Mental Health

A former Royal Marine Commando has produced a battlefield audio recording that's got people talking.

Warrior armoured vehicle Op Cabrit Credit BFBS

Former Royal Marine Commando Ben Williams’ recording has gone viral on social media and got people talking – exactly what he wanted to happen. 

Watch: Warning, this video contains graphic battlefield sounds associated with war

These sounds were recorded by Ben during combat operations in Afghanistan.

He is now putting them to good use, by bringing awareness to those who do not understand what it is like for those still hearing these sounds in their head.

Ben said:

“I want people to hear the sounds that we hear and generate more empathy between those who have experienced, and those who haven’t experienced combat."

“I also wanted to make it as authentic as it could be, so I used the audio which I recorded myself from the operational tours I had been on.”

Ben Williamson Chinook Afghanistan
Picture: Ben Williams in Helmand Province Afghanistan

The married father of two put the video together so that people can have an understanding of what daily life is like for those still hearing these sounds long after the battle is over.

The audio recording is a montage of various battlefield sounds including gunshots, IED bangs and the crack and thump of enemy fire.

The 31-year-old former commando also wants more veterans and serving personnel to reach out.

He continued: “I suffered quite badly with PTSD. I spoke out when no one really spoke out, then I got a lot of help from Walking With The Wounded charity.

“Now I am just trying to give back, and raise the awareness, and let people know that speaking out really does help.”

Adding: “Social media has such power.

“There may be someone out there right now who just might pick up the phone, rather than turn to their dark thoughts and doing the worst to themselves.

“Just remember, everyone is suffering, but what the f*** are you doing about it?”

Marathon des Sables: The Toughest Footrace on Earth
Ben will be competing in the Marathon Des Sables in 2020

Ben now lives in Exeter with his wife and two children. He dedicates his time to helping others who suffer from PTSD, and has just signed a book deal with publishers Penguin.

His book is aimed at self-development of young men and women, and encourages them to speak more openly about mental health.

Afghanistan

Ben believes the worst thing you can do is to cut all ties from the military once you leave, saying it is important to stay around people you know and who you served with, especially your ‘oppos’ and most importantly not to isolate yourself.

He added: “Many people who leave the service often lose the support network afterwards.

“A few texts or calls from oppos isn’t enough to engage with someone who is thinking of killing themselves, or struggling.

“You are forgotten after the military, which is natural and we know the organisation has to carry on.

“But there is still more that should be done for the families and veterans who have given their lives to their cap badges and serving their country.

“There should be shoulder to shoulder support for every veteran, and every serving member of the armed forces, so that people feel far more comfortable speaking out."

 “I am so glad I put my hand up, and found myself with Jamie Sanderson from Rock 2 Recovery. He helped me even within one session. It is finding that courage to put your hand up.”

In 2020, Ben will compete in the Marathon Des Sables to raise £5,000 for Walking With The Wounded - the charity which helped Ben through the difficult times dealing with PTSD. 

The link to Ben's campaign can be found here.

 

 

A helpline to provide round-the-clock support to forces personnel dealing with mental health issues has been launched after funding by the Ministry of Defence.

Anyone who needs help, advice or support with mental health issues can call the Military Mental Health Helpline on 0800 323 4444.

There are also many charities that offer free help and support to veterans such as SSAFA and Combat Stress.

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