We were in for our break at base when there was a call over the radio to help a gentleman outside one of the clubs, so we went to see if we could assist.
We found a young man cross-legged and bent over; he was asleep and it took us a while to get him to respond. We tried encouraging him to drink sips of water etc. but he responded by pushing the bottle away and saying “Leave me alone, I’m not worth it”, to which I replied “You are worth it and I’m not going anywhere, as you are quite vulnerable sat here”. He then put his head in his hands and sobbed.
Eventually he gave us his name and told us he wanted to die, as he did not want to see any more dead bodies. There was a silent period and we encouraged him to drink more water. We asked about home, but he kept saying he couldn’t go home / didn’t want to do this any more etc.
He started to open up further and said that he had come back from Iraq 3 years ago. He hated himself for what he had done. I told him that his actions were not the actions of a bad person as he had stepped in to save others for whatever he had to do (it reminded me of our Lord and Saviour).
I asked about his family; he said that they didn’t understand, so I asked if he had talked to them to help them understand? He said no, he could not put that onto them.
We managed to get him onto his feet and then he said that he wanted to get home. We gave him a Street Pastors card and said to him if he ever needed to talk, there would be someone who would listen to him. We managed to get him a taxi and he gave us a hug, saying Thank you for everything you have done.
PS from Roy Just before receiving this by e-mail I had received a phone call from a very grateful man who had woken up to find a Street Pastor card in his pocket, then had vague memories of a team helping him. He said he was so grateful for the help he’d received and was in a much better frame of mind now.
During the conversation he also mentioned that he was suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and that the counselling he’d received to date hadn’t been much help, so I told him about Resolution, a charity that specialises in PTSD for military personnel. He was very interested to hear that and thanked me / us again.