Ben Parkinson

UK's Most-Injured Afghanistan Veteran: 'This Happened For Nothing'

Ben Parkinson

The Afghanistan veteran regarded as the UK's most severely injured British soldier to survive the war has said it was for "absolutely nothing" after the Taliban takeover.

Ben Parkinson, a Lance Bombardier, lost both his legs and suffered a broken spine and pelvis after his vehicle hit a landmine in Afghanistan in 2006.

The explosion also left him with brain damage, with doctors saying he would never walk or talk again, but he defied the odds to do both.

Speaking to BBC Yorkshire, Mr Parkinson spoke of his disappointment about the situation in Afghanistan, saying that learning the Taliban had seized control has left people thinking 'what was it all for?'.

"It's a waste of time, it's for nothing," he said.

"This happened for nothing."

He continued: "It must be terrible for someone who lost a member of their family for absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing at all.

"We've just turned our backs on them." 

Mr Parkinson's comments echo those made by many members of the military community, angry over the situation and how it has unravelled so rapidly, with one veteran saying he felt "embarrassed to be British".

Mr Parkinson also called on the Government to allow those who worked with the British military in Afghanistan to enter the UK. 

About 900 troops and RAF aircraft are currently evacuating UK nationals and ex-British staff that are eligible for relocation to the UK from Kabul.

Watch: Emotional Defence Secretary admits 'some people won't get back' from Afghanistan.

The former paratrooper told the BBC: "A lot of Afghans have been good to the British soldiers and Americans, every soldier. There's been lots of good people.

"So, no point in just saying 'oh, let them go. They can live however they want'. We need to look after them. They looked after us, so we need to repay them." 

Mr Parkinson's comments came before the news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to unveil a "bespoke" resettlement scheme for vulnerable Afghans.

Number 10 said Mr Johnson would give more information about the refugee scheme in the coming days, with the policy anticipated to be focused on helping women and girls.

The Home Office has also announced that restrictions have been eased on the relocation scheme for Afghans who supported UK forces in the central Asian country.

If you or someone you know needs support at this time, you can find more information by visiting the British Army website and the Government's website.

Further details about support available can be found on the Forces News website.

Cover image: File photo of Ben Parkinson (Picture: PA/Alamy).

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