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Read the transcript from Nick McKenzie's report "The War Within", first broadcast 30 March 2009.

Reporter: Nick McKenzie

Date: 30/03/2009

(Excerpt of footage of soldiers in tanks)

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: The first question anyone asks you is did you
shoot anyone, you know. I'd lie and say no, because I'd rather people think I didn't shoot anyone
than think that I shot a woman and child.

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: You can see straight into their eyes and you see the
fear in their eyes, and they're just lying there and with their eyes they're begging you to let
them live.

NICK MCKENZIE: These are the untold stories of Australian soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For the first time, these soldiers speak out about the hidden wounds of war, the invisible impact
of trauma.

GARTH CAMAC, CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: It's a very deep, dark, black staring into the abyss,
wondering if I had anything else to offer. Can I take anymore of this?

ANASTASIA GUNN-REID, GARTH CAMAC'S SISTER: He wasn't suicidal he was homicidal.

TONY GILCHRIST, FORMER CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: It's basically just a 24/7 kaleidoscope of
everything you've seen just continually rolls in your head.

GAYLE GILCHRIST, TONY GILCHRIST'S WIFE: When are they going to debrief these boys and get doctors
to help them? They need help.

(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: Tonight on Four Corners "The War Within".

Australian soldiers revealing the hidden cost of conflict and the confidential report that exposes
the holes in the system meant to support them.

(On Screen Text: The War Within, Reporter: Nick McKenzie)

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: Last night we were shelled by rockets and we believe
we were also gassed. Wait a second, we've got some business.

(On Screen Text: Warrant Officer Joe Day)

NICK MCKENZIE: The defence force turned to its best and brightest when Australia joined the
invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Australian soldier Joe Day was among them, on secondment with the US marines.

The platoon commander kept a video diary as he rolled towards Baghdad.

(Excerpt of footage from video diary)

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: We have got the whole battalion behind us and more,
all the way back there and we are at the very front. And I nearly captured my first Iraqi, there's
two Iraqi desert Ninjas coming up, women.

NICK MCKENZIE: But years of combat training would not prepare Joe Day for what was to unfold on day
eleven of the war.

(End of Excerpt)

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: My mission was to block a road over a small bridge,
over a canal. So some time after the middle of the night, a car is approaching the roadblock. They
didn't stop, and I just gave the order to fire and we just let rip.

(Excerpt of footage of soldiers firing)

(End of Excerpt)

We just dragged them out of the car and they were all in Iraqi uniforms, army uniforms, so they
were clearly the enemy. I was quite cold, as in my emotions were quite cold and I was just focused
on wanting to know where the rest of these bastards were.

(Excerpt of footage from video diary)

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: Last night we had a, were at a road block and we had
some Iraqi's try to run our road block, so we shot 'em up. We captured four Iraqi prisoners and
sent them on their way. It was the first time some of our guys have ever shot someone so, it was a
pretty interesting night, it was a long night, a lot of stuff happened.

(End of Excerpt)

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: So ah you know your mood changes after that point.
You're not, you're um, you're unclean from then on.

NICK MCKENZIE: On the road to Baghdad, Joe Day confronted one of the most troubling and sometimes
traumatic aspects of today's wars, the difficulty telling apart the civilian and the insurgent or
suicide bomber.

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: Smoke, dust, gun fire going off, bombs dropping,
mortars flying around the place, people yelling, people screaming.

NICK MCKENZIE: When Joe Day opened fire on what he thought were armed men, he was accused and later
investigated of an illegal killing, a war crime.

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: The event itself was an ugly incident. It was ugly,
because it was combat at its worst. It was up front, it was personal. It was watching people being
mutilated right in front of your eyes.

It was like a hammer. You know I thought that I was a goner. I'm going to be hanging out to dry
'cause it's easier to massacre a foreigner than it is one of their own.

NICK MCKENZIE: He was later cleared of illegal killings when proof emerged that the victims were,
in fact, armed.

But the war was increasingly taking a hidden toll.

(Excerpt of footage from video diary)

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: So we've had a pretty rough time the last few days. I
think it's starting to take its toll on a lot of the guys.

(End of Excerpt)

(On Screen Text: Captain Tony Gilchrist)

NICK MCKENZIE: Father of three Captain Tony Gilchrist had been a soldier in a mostly peace-time
army for 15 years, when he joined an elite taskforce.

The Coalition Explosive Exploitation Cell, also known as CEXC, consisted of British, US and
Australian soldiers.

Theirs was one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

TONY GILCHRIST, FORMER CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I think you'd be lying if you said you're
never scared and it's the first time I suppose in my whole career that I was genuinely scared for
the whole time I was there.

NICK MCKENZIE: The members of CEXC were the bomb catchers of Baghdad, tasked with tracking down men
like these.

(Excerpt of footage of insurgents making improvised explosive devices)

The insurgents responsible for making improvised explosive devices or IEDs.

As others fled Captain Gilchrist and his team ventured into the carnage to find clues about who was
making the bombs.

(End of Excerpt)

No training could equip these men for what they'd face.

TONY GILCHRIST, FORMER CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: No, nothing can prepare you for this. It was
on a scale of carnage that you could never even try to imagine.

(Excerpt of photographs of destruction caused by explosions, people killed by explosions)

There's people crying, screaming, there's people calling out for help, deceased people laying
there, body parts laying around, I suppose the biggest confrontation of the senses is when you
arrive, it's the smell of everything that happened, it's something that stays with you forever.

NICK MCKENZIE: What is that smell?

TONY GILCHRIST, FORMER CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I suppose it's the smell of um, the explosives
that have been used, the burning wreckages around you plus the smell of burning bodies.

NICK MCKENZIE: Was that the first time you'd smelt that?


(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: For Captain Gilchrist, the danger from hidden bombs and unexpected attack was

(Excerpt of footage of explosion on road)

SOLDIER: Oh, holy shit.

(End of Excerpt)

TONY GILCHRIST, FORMER CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: Within you know five to 10 minutes you could
receive small arms fire, within 10 to 20 minutes you could receive mortar fire. If you were there
for longer than 30 minutes you could expect an RPG attack, a vehicle-borne IED attack or some force
of another attack.

NICK MCKENZIE: On the 24th July 2005, Captain Gilchrist was told that one of his bomb squad
colleagues Captain Peter Norton had been called to a blast which had left four US soldiers dead.

(Excerpt of News footage of explosion)

(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: At the scene, Norton stepped on a second hidden bomb. He was badly injured, losing
part of his leg and arm.

When Captain Gilchrist arrived at the scene, his job was to find hidden bomb number three.

ANDREW STREET, FORMER SERGEANT, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: To watch, to watch a man of Tony sort of
crawling on his hands and knees, on his belly through a large area looking for a device which he
didn't know was there. You just hope and pray he pulls through and any evidence we can find we can

NICK MCKENZIE: Lying stomach down in the dirt, Captain Gilchrist found the third bomb.

The maiming of one of their own traumatised his team. But finding help would not be easy.

TONY GILCHRIST, FORMER CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: They did get a team of psychologist to theatre
to try and, which was normal for the taskforce, but then we organised to speak to them ourselves so
we try to give them a bit of insight.

NICK MCKENZIE: Did it work?

TONY GILCHRIST, FORMER CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: We thought it had worked. We provided them
with a brief so they could see what we were involved with on a daily basis and that was taken away
and that was basically the last we'd heard of it from theatre that side.

(On Screen Text: Private Ben Millman)

(Excerpt of footage from home video - Ben Millman's farewell)

AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE SOLDIER: The day's finally arrived, and you're off to Baghdad.

NICK MCKENZIE: Back in Australia, as the war in Iraq continued, other families were saying their
own good-byes.

Twenty year old Private Ben Millmann's farewell to his partner Tara and step-daughter, Emma was
picture perfect.

(End of Excerpt)

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: You are just excited, it is sort of drawn out,
like as Christmas is for kids, you're excited.

You do all this training you want to make a difference you want to put a footprint on the world,
you know.

TARA BERMINGHAM, BEN MILLMAN'S PARTNER: He was really excited and was like he'd won the Lotto. He
was just thought it was great, so I think because he was so happy about it, I didn't initially
worry about him leaving.

NICK MCKENZIE: On Australia day, 2005, Private Millmann was manning a machine gun on the top of an
armoured vehicle.

His destination was Baghdad airport, which meant travelling down Route Irish.

At the time it was the most dangerous road in the world.

(Excerpt of footage of soldier in armoured vehicle)

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: We were cruising down the road doing about 100,
in between 100, 120 k's an hour. I'd looked up towards the front of the vehicle. And then I do
notice, see a car. And then I've looked back, and the next thing you know we're in a cloud of
smoke, the loudest thing I have ever heard, spinning down the road.

(Explosion and soldier moaning)

(End of Excerpt)

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I didn't want to move, I was in excruciating
pain, just from the blast. I thought I was going to die. You know, then I started feeling myself,
just patting myself all over, because I felt like I'd been opened up, you know, I didn't want to
move, I thought I would just bleed to death or something.

And then, to my amazement, there wasn't a scratch on me. I've looked over at the guy I had been
blown on top of and there was blood everywhere. He was bleeding from the forehead, eyes, ears,
nose, pretty much every opening in his face was bleeding from it.

First reaction was to stop the bleeding, 'cause he was conscious, so I bandaged up his head.

NICK MCKENZIE: Ben Millmann rushed the injured soldier to hospital.

For the young private, the incident marked the start of a rapid descent.

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: It was sort of like I was climbing, climbing,
climbing and then, you know, then I think I fell.

NICK MCKENZIE: Rock bottom came on night patrol a month later when a car turned a corner and began
to head towards his patrol.

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: So the car's coming down the road. I had my
weapon under my shoulder and it's come down and I've looked and I could see out the corner of my
eye my lance corporal was saying stop, stop with his weapon pointed at the car, and then he's
raised his weapon at about a 45 into the air and fired two warning shots.

And as he's fired the two warning shots that's when I've let three rounds go and each round struck
the car.

It was like they'd just been sprayed, just like had a bucket of blood poured over them. And yeah I
could see a woman just sitting in the seat. The father was driving, the mother was a passenger. She
had a toddler on her on her lap and there was people in the back and they got out, starting you
know, screaming why, why, why.

NICK MCKENZIE: Private Millmann had shot a woman in the face, badly injuring her.

Another bullet had sprayed glass into the face of her young son, blinding him in one eye.

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: So yeah you do feel completely different about
it. You know I shot a woman and you know her toddler.

NICK MCKENZIE: And what does that make you feel like?


TARA BERMINGHAM, BEN MILLMAN'S PARTNER: I was devastated. I was devastated for him because I knew
especially the child that got injured, I knew that would affect him more than anything.

NICK MCKENZIE: Pressure on Private Millmann was building.

With the shooting under investigation, Private Millmann was asked to donate money to the injured
woman and child

He was then ordered to their family home, where the family was met by senior officers.

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: While we were out there you know one of the kids
comes out and offers us a soft drink.

NICK MCKENZIE: This was one of the children from the family whose mother-


NICK MCKENZIE: And how did you feel there?

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: Just like I drunk the soft drink. I didn't want
to you know, be rude. But you know, I didn't know we were going there. I didn't want to be there.

(On Screen Text: Coming Home)

NICK MCKENZIE: In late 2005, Captain Tony Gilchrist arrived home.

By then, he had seen more carnage and more enemy contact than perhaps any other Australian soldier
in Iraq, an incredible 102 missions.

But no one from the army was waiting for him at the airport.

TONY GILCHRIST, FORMER CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I sort of came back through and went through
Customs and X-ray and walked out the door and took a taxi home. You know you're not looking for a
marching band and a fly past, but it was, would've been nice for, um for people to have come back.

LEN LAMBETH, FORMER DIRECTOR MENTAL HEALTH 2005-08, ADF: Oh it's vital, if you've been through a
traumatic event or series of events, and your experiences are not validated by those that you deem
important, and that includes Defence personnel, politicians, family, friends, then you are much
more prone to developing some mental health problem as a result.

NICK MCKENZIE: The lack of a welcome home was not all that was wrong, Captain Gilchrist was also

TONY GILCHRIST, FORMER CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: You've got the constant thoughts of what
you've seen and been involved in. You still wake up with the, it's like you've still been there
that night. You can just about taste the smoke and you can smell it in your nose still.

NICK MCKENZIE: It seems likely he was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

Up to an estimated 10 per cent of Australians returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, will suffer long
term mental health problems.

GAYLE GILCHRIST, TONY GILCHRIST'S WIFE: I guess the second night and he wakes up not being able to
breathe and he has to, he's gasping for breath in our bed because he can't breathe and he has to
run to the toilet and vomit and vomit and vomit until he can get his breath back and I said to him
oh you know, naive me, "Are you alright, are you sick?" and he goes "I've got this smell in my
mouth and my nose and I just can't get rid of it."

LEN LAMBETH, FORMER DIRECTOR MENTAL HEALTH 2005-08, ADF: A person, in order to get PTSD, needs to
have been confronted with a horrific event, an event which may cause loss of life or certainly
affect their physical integrity.

NICK MCKENZIE: Captain Gilchrist's symptoms are not new to veteran psychiatrist Dr Len Lambeth, who
was appointed chief of the ADF's mental health services in 2005.

LEN LAMBETH, FORMER DIRECTOR MENTAL HEALTH 2005-08, ADF: Well it can be extraordinarily
debilitating. I mean the sufferer is having these terrible symptoms, they find them difficult to
understand, difficult to deal with.

NICK MCKENZIE: Dr Lambeth resigned his defence post last year, partly out of frustration.

Tonight, he breaks rank to expose systemic failings.

LEN LAMBETH, FORMER DIRECTOR MENTAL HEALTH 2005-08, ADF: I mean there's just no way around it. We
were underfunded and therefore understaffed. We certainly encountered problems. We must be honest
about that. You must remember that mental health wasn't a high priority in the ADF until the very
late 1990s.

NICK MCKENZIE: Known as shell shock after World War I and battle fatigue after World War II, PTSD
became a recognised condition after Vietnam.

GAYLE GILCHRIST, TONY GILCHRIST'S WIFE: He's reliving this on a daily basis. If we're driving down
the street and he sees something on the side of the road and he just his body just flinches all I
do is touch him, he knows that I know that he's feeling something and he has explained to me that
things on the side of the road are still scary for him because over there that's when explosions
happened. It's, it's every day.

NICK MCKENZIE: Despite the obviously traumatic nature of his job in Iraq and his intense symptoms,
Tony Gilchrist received a dismal level of support.

He has never been diagnosed with any mental health disorder.

LEN LAMBETH, FORMER DIRECTOR MENTAL HEALTH 2005-08, ADF: Well effective treatment is possible.
Certainly the sooner you see someone with PTSD the more effective the treatment is likely to be.

GAYLE GILCHRIST, TONY GILCHRIST'S WIFE: Well you think somebody would've debriefed him when he came
home. Acknowledged the job he did and got some psychiatrist and psychologist to help him
straightaway to deal with what was going on in his head.

Is there something that helps get rid of this smell? Is there something that helps get rid of the
films running through his head? I don't know. I would've thought there was something they could do
to help. There must be something that they can do to help.

(On Screen Text: Captain Garth Camac)

(Excerpt of News footage from TV3, Malaysia, September 1993)

NEWSREADER: Twelve Australians were injured, four of them seriously in a mishap which occurred
yesterday which occurred outside an armed forces combat training centre in Kota Tinggi.

(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: The defence force still does not know about Tony Gilchrist's problems but they
should have known for more than a decade that Captain Garth Camac was most likely suffering.

(Excerpt continued)

GARTH CAMAC, CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I want you to stop and I want you to go away. You are
not to film my men. I have told you to.

(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: On September the 23 1993, 23-year-old captain Garth Camac fended off the Malaysian

Hours before five of his soldiers had been killed, and others badly injured, in a road accident
near an army training ground in Malaysia.

GARTH CAMAC, CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I could hear guys saying get out, get out, it's going to
blow. I jumped straight into the back of the truck, the embankment was at about that same level, I
slipped over, in what I found to be blood. So within seconds, the tray of the truck was slick with

We started passing out bodies. The fire was still burning under the truck at that stage. I lost my,
ah my platoon sergeant, and all of my corporals. So my whole command structure were killed.

NICK MCKENZIE: As the ranking officer, a still grieving captain Camac was called to a secret
military board of inquiry to answer questions about his conduct.

GARTH CAMAC, CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: It was a closed inquiry. I never got feedback from the
Inquiry. All I knew was that I was in the sights

(Excerpt of photographs of the killed soldiers)

(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: Ostracised and haunted by images of the crash, Captain Camac left the army in 1995.

He was denied access to the inquiry's findings, but they have been obtained by Four Corners.

(On screen graphic of inquiry findings)

The inquiry declared it "obvious" that Camac would continue to relive "the horror of the accident"
and urged the "army psychology corps" to be "more proactive", so "those most affected" "received
further counselling".

A decade after the truck accident, Garth Camac having had no ongoing counselling or support,
re-enlisted, a captain once more.

GARTH CAMAC, CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I was I was very proud of being an infantryman. I felt
that there was unfinished business, that I was still capable of perhaps resurrecting a career, and
hopeful that that I could have a fresh start.

NICK MCKENZIE: Eighteen months later, Captain Camac was posted to Iraq.

On April 23 2007, Garth Camac was watching an Australian convoy via a live vision feed from a

GARTH CAMAC, CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I saw the, I saw the lead vehicle get blown up, engulfed
in flames and then career off into the water. I had to fight down the urge of panic because I
suddenly felt like I was back in, back in ah, the 23rd of September.

Oh I was only just hanging on. I didn't know if I was just going to snap and break, if I was going
to snap and, and hurt or kill someone just out of sheer frustration and anger for the, ah, or
myself for the predicament that I found myself in.

NICK MCKENZIE: And what was it exactly that you were so angry about?

GARTH CAMAC, CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I'd been, I was angry that I'd had five of my men
killed. I was angry that I'd been a board of inquiry that'd never ah, that I'd never received
closure for. I was angry that I'd never been able to grieve properly for the, for the death of my

NICK MCKENZIE: After his return from a conflict to which he perhaps should never have been
deployed, Captain Camac finally learned of some of the board's findings from 1995.

GARTH CAMAC, CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: It was clear to the board that we required ongoing
psychological help.

NICK MCKENZIE: And that was simply ignored.


NICK MCKENZIE: By now, the past had caught up with Captain Camac.

ANASTASIA GUNN-REID, GARTH CAMAC'S SISTER: I woke up and found Garth extremely drunk and he'd found
out that one of his mates had been killed in Afghanistan and was really highly agitated and, and
very angry talking, talking in a very violent manner and um, and saying that that he was wishing
other people dead.

Obviously I was very concerned and, and felt that it was at a point where, where he probably needed

NICK MCKENZIE: The next morning, Garth Camac's sister, herself an experienced nurse, took him to
Lavarack Barracks medical centre in Townsville.

ANASTASIA GUNN-REID, GARTH CAMAC'S SISTER: The Doctor didn't even really make eye contact with
Garth at any stage and certainly really didn't listen to his concerns and it ended up that he
suggested that Garth go home and take a sleeping tablet and have a good night's sleep and that
things would be better in the morning.

NICK MCKENZIE: When Garth Camac sought further help the next day, he was told the psychiatrist was
on a two weeks of leave.

ANASTASIA GUNN-REID, GARTH CAMAC'S SISTER: Oh a state of complete disbelief, complete disbelief. I
don't understand how a system that could work with a group of people who could be so traumatised by
their job do not adequately provide for these people.

(On Screen Graphic of response letter)

NICK MCKENZIE: Responding to a complaint about his treatment, the army told Captain Camac that in
the "frugal financial environment" his care was satisfactory.

(End of Excerpt)

The comments came during a period of record Government spending on defence.

At the time, underfunding was far from the only problem facing chief defence force psychiatrist Dr
Len Lambeth.

NICK MCKENZIE: As the head of mental health services in the defence force, were you able to get
patient records from defence psychologists?


NICK MCKENZIE: That's extraordinary.

LEN LAMBETH, FORMER DIRECTOR MENTAL HEALTH 2005-08, ADF: It was extraordinary and it was one of my
major complaints.

(Excerpt of ABC News footage, January 2008)

NEWSREADER: A father has accused the Army of a cover-up and blamed its poor health care for the
death of his son.

NEWSREADER 2: Andrew Paljakka committed suicide in a room in this Kings Cross hotel in February
last year. He was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after what he'd seen in

(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: Last year, the Labor Government conceded that some soldiers with mental health
problems were falling through the cracks.

The government ordered two inquiries, both headed by public health expert Professor David Dunt.

NICK MCKENZIE: The first inquiry by Professor David Dunt, is into suicide among veterans, the
second is into mental health services in Defence.

Both inquiries have been completed but not released.

But Four Corners has obtained the findings of the first inquiry. It is in parts, damning.

(On Screen Graphic of inquiry findings)

Professor Dunt says a review of PTSD programs in Australia must be urgently commissioned.

He says that it is "probable that most Australian veterans with PTSD, are not getting best practice
treatment for early onset cases."

"One well-informed estimate," says Dunt, is that "only around 30 per cent are receiving such

(End of Excerpt)

The recently appointed Defence force Surgeon General, Paul Alexander is responsible for responding
to the Dunt inquiries.

PAUL ALEXANDER, SURGEON GENERAL, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: The health and care of our servicemen and
women is our absolute priority. We take our duty of care responsibilities very very seriously.
You'll find that in the past, and I hope, hopefully not into the future, but there have been gaps
in our response to treatments and to individuals in the past and that's very regretful.

They happen. But we're putting in place a comprehensive program and have a comprehensive program in
place now.

NICK MCKENZIE: If there is a new program in place it has a many gaps to fill. Just ask Ben

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: The first question anyone asks you is did you
shoot anyone, you know. I'd lie and say no because I'd rather people think I didn't shoot anyone
than think that I shot a woman and child.

NICK MCKENZIE: After injuring a woman and child in Iraq, Millmann then aged only 20 says the only
psychological support he received was from an army chaplain.

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I'm not a religious person. All he done was got
me to fill out a form and he said this doesn't go past me. It was just for his own knowledge. But
it was like a psych support one. I filled out the form and then he said that it'll go in the bin.

NICK MCKENZIE: Arriving home, Millmann began drinking heavily and reliving the shooting incident,
both behaviours common to many PTSD sufferers.

He sought help from an army psychologist but at his second appointment, was told the psychologist
had been posted elsewhere.

BEN MILLMAN, FORMER PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: You know you, there's supposed to be this care
there, so you know you sit down and you bleed your heart out to one person and they're gone the
next week you know. So is that going to happen with the next person?

NICK MCKENZIE: Millmann went on extended stress leave and began seeing a GP, psychiatrist and

He was medically discharged in November 2007, having been diagnosed with PTSD.

TARA BERMINGHAM, BEN MILLMAN'S PARTNER: It was you know rules of war that put in the situation that
he got into and he came back and then it was just like because there was something wrong with him
he was no longer useful and he was no longer part of the army, that's how it felt; that he was an
inconvenience to be, to be there.

PAUL ALEXANDER, SURGEON GENERAL, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I'm not aware of the circumstances. The
circumstances do sound as if he was exposed to significant trauma. If that's the case then we will,
as I mentioned previously, we take our duty of care responsibilities very very importantly and will
do everything we possibly can to help.

NICK MCKENZIE: Ben Millmann is getting on with his life.

But Iraq and its aftermath have left an imprint, not just on him but his family as well who say
they've been ignored by Defence.

TARA BERMINGHAM, BEN MILLMAN'S PARTNER: No one rang me, no one would tell me what was going on and
so I just sort of guessed as I went like what was happening and I think he needed, he needed for me
to know to be there to support him at home as well.

PAUL ALEXANDER, SURGEON GENERAL, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: It is a recommendation from Professor Dunt's
review that we look at a better coordination of family responses in relation to mental health.

TARA BERMINGHAM, BEN MILLMAN'S PARTNER: I see him sometimes. Yeah, sometimes he's there, cheeky.
But yeah, it only lasts for a little while, but it's like when they first get sick you've got to
grieve for them and sort of say goodbye to that person, so.

NICK MCKENZIE: Have you done your grieving?


(Excerpt of footage from video diary)

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: Ambush sites that were meant for us but we foiled
their plan.

(Explosions nearby)

Get down. That was a little closer than what I would have liked (coughs). Well we just had a big
bomb go off, IED. We're pushing on.

(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: For Joe Day, who endured a second tour of Iraq, and the infamous battle of Fallujah,
coming home should have been a relief.

Instead, his marriage collapsed as he too struggled with the symptoms of PTSD.

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I hated going to work and I hated going to my desk. I
remember days where I'd just sit at my desk and I would, for hours and hours and hours just do
nothing. I'd just sit there.

I'd close the door so no one could annoy me, just sit there wishing the day away. Just hurry up, is
today over?

NICK MCKENZIE: As an Australian posted with the US marines, Joe Day got an insight into the
American system of support.

Up to an estimated 20 per cent of US soldiers who've served in Iraq are suffering PTSD.

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: They have a network, they have several prongs to
their network of support that is far more proactive than what I was used to in Australia, and it
starts with the actual Marines themselves and their own family so it's got a lot to do with peer
support and their own families being able to take action to support themselves.

NICK MCKENZIE: Joe Day says both the Defence Force and Veterans Affairs are failing soldiers with
mental health problems when they discharge and begin the transition back to civilian life.

It's a view backed up in the Dunt inquiry.

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: You have to pursue your caseworker and if you want to
make a claim or if you want to get something done, you have to pursue them. So you're being treated
like you're going out to find welfare, so, and it makes you think well why bother? And I'm not
bothering. I'm not going to bother with chasing welfare. I've got a life to live.

NICK MCKENZIE: In Townsville, Captain Garth Camac's life is also moving on.

Two weeks ago, he walked out of the army barracks for the last time, medically discharged,
suffering chronic PTSD.

He has decided to speak out to help other soldiers.

GARTH CAMAC, CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I am doing it for soldiers to know it is ok to come
forward, and to urge commanders and leaders to take the effort, and make the effort and not, and
say I can do something about this, and not say they should do something about this.

PAUL ALEXANDER, SURGEON GENERAL, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I believe we won't, we won't ever see a
situation where we don't have mental health problems. What we need to do is ensure that our systems
are the best practice systems we, we have anywhere. And to ensure that some of the issues that have
been raised by you and others and some of the gaps that have been shown to exist in the past are
all filled.

(On Screen Text: Afghanistan)

NICK MCKENZIE: With our contribution in Iraq winding down, Afghanistan is where the support system
faces its next major challenge.

(Excerpt from Afghanistan video diary)

JUSTIN HUGGETT, CORPORAL, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: Yesterday, be easily the worst day of our life, I'd
say. Would you agree Pez?

PEZ: Yes.

JUSTIN HUGGETT, CORPORAL, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: Four, count 'em, four massive contacts with the
enemy. One poor ANA bloke had a RPG burst in his heads put about six holes in his melon.

(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: Australian Corporal Justin Huggett's secondment with British troops in Afghanistan
triggered his PTSD.

(Excerpt continued)

JUSTIN HUGGETT, CORPORAL, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: Righto, we're in a trench line here. Just out the
front of our patrol base, we've been in a fire fight for about an hour and a half, and I'm
absolutely rooted.

(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: His 2007 deployment gives an insight into the conditions facing the thousand
Australians in Afghanistan.

Huggett engaged in scores of fierce fire fights and had colleagues killed, a stumble in the field
saved his life.

(Excerpt continued)


(End of Excerpt)

JUSTIN HUGGETT, CORPORAL, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: And literally 30 seconds later the whole tree line
opened up on us and I could just. I dove onto the ground. And then I was thinking oh God what's
happened here? And as soon as we fell forward that whole wall in front of us where we were going
just lit up with machine gun fire, RPGs crunched into the wall. And I was, my eyes must've went
about this big.

(Excerpt continued)

JUSTIN HUGGETT, CORPORAL, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: Once again, worst worst day of my life yesterday.
And there's another 2.5 days of it to go.

(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: Having survived the fire fight, Corporal Huggett might well have become another
casualty of trauma.

JUSTIN HUGGETT, CORPORAL, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I was just plying myself with alcohol. And that was
one of the only ways I could get to sleep. If I could sleep right through, if I could get a full
night's sleep, I was loving it and that was the only way I could it was hanging off my dial.

NICK MCKENZIE: But Corporal Huggett is an example of how treatment, when given can be effective.

He's had strong support from the army. Included in his treatment has been an eight week PTSD

And it's working.

JUSTIN HUGGETT, CORPORAL, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: So yeah I do want to go. As I said I would not have
stayed in the army if I didn't want to deploy again. You know we have a job to do, we train very
hard to do it.

(Excerpt of footage of soldiers at Randwick Barracks, Sydney)

NICK MCKENZIE: At Randwick Barracks in Sydney, soldiers will soon say their good-byes.

They're preparing for war, most likely in Afghanistan.

(End of Excerpt)

(Excerpt of footage from psychological briefing)

BRIAN JOHNSTON, LIEUTENANT COLONEL: Ok, so anybody been exposed to body handling in their job,
previously? Right. So you guys have more experience in this than I do.

(End of Excerpt)

NICK MCKENZIE: Their training includes this half hour psychological briefing.

(Excerpt continued)

ADF SOLDIER: There will be a time period after that when it will, in downtime, and you realise what
you've been dealing with.

BRIAN JOHNSTON, LIEUTENANT COLONEL: That's right, ok. Any other tips, okay?

ADF SOLDIER 2: Take a toothbrush,


ADF SOLDIER 2: Because that smell and that taste stays with you for a long time.

(End of Excerpt)

Trooper Vincent Broad

Australian Defence Force Trooper Vincent Broad

NICK MCKENZIE: Do you believe you'll be seeing things like civilians who are killed in action,
perhaps other soldiers?

VINCENT BROAD, TROOPER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: Hopefully not, I don't think I will.

NICK MCKENZIE: How are you feeling about your deployment?

KIRI DALE, PRIVATE, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I'm excited and nervous as well, 'cause it's my first
deployment. But yeah, everyone that's been over there seems to think it's pretty good.

We've got psyche before and after and if we need to talk to someone we've got chaplains and stuff
like that, so it's not like we don't have anyone to talk to.

NICK MCKENZIE: A sunny day in Sydney for these soldiers belies what some may yet encounter in the
theatre of war.

(Excerpt of footage from war zones)

Fire-fights and hidden bombs, injury and death among the enemy, civilians or in their own ranks.

It can all leave a hidden mark.

Defence insists that change to the mental health support system is well underway.

But it's cold comfort for those who have already done their duty only to slip through the cracks.

For some soldiers the war within can last a lifetime.

JOE DAY, FORMER OFFICER, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: I feel that I'm nearly 75 per cent redeemed. I've
just got about 25 per cent of things to get redemption for. I might not get that until after I'm

TONY GILCHRIST, FORMER CAPTAIN, AUST. DEFENCE FORCE: You know you seek refuge in any way you could
and I've seen people do that with alcohol and other means, and ultimately seen that result in the
suicides of people. And you just hope that you never end up that way yourself.

GAYLE GILCHRIST, TONY GILCHRIST'S WIFE: Is it going to get too much? Are those images in his head,
is he going to say one day I just can't cope with this anymore. I hope not.

He tells me no. He tells me that the kids and I keep him going and that he would never ever think
of doing that, but is he going to tell me that, or could it be just one day a brain snap happens
and that's it because of these images in his head? I don't know and I hope it never does happen.

[End of Transcript]