I was at work yesterday and met a guy who was at school with and was friends with my cousin. He confirmed what I had long suspected in that my cousin left the British Army suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and filled me in with some of the details. Like many who leave this was was never identified as being the reason and he had no support after he left. I rather suspect he suffered in silence for far too long and couldn't or wouldn't speak to his friends or family about it.
The conflict in the Balkans in the 1990's was a particularly nasty and inhumane affair and my cousin was out there in a 'peacekeeping' role. From what I understand the 'rules of engagement' were so strict that he saw incidents that he wanted to stop or prevent but was not allowed to do so. This obviously played on his mind with inevitable consequences.
In the UK my preferred charity, Combat Stress, supports those who suffer PTSD after they leave the Services. Henry Hyde of Battlegames was a prime mover in getting this charity some publicity.
There are similar charities in other countries. I've just made another donation to Combat Stress. No one deserves to go through what my cousin saw but if they do the least I can do is help them try to deal with it through charities like these