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Homeless UK Vet Dies on Street after Refusing Social Services

Scores of homeless people die every day in the US and the UK, but the death of a homeless ex-soldier in the UK has sparked a public outrage that more must be done to assist ex-servicemen.
Darren Greenfield, 47, fell on a series of hard times after leaving the Army a number of years ago and died of unspecified causes on the streets of Edinburgh mere days before Christmas.

Note that Greenfield was well known to many in the Scottish capital as he spent a good bit of time in and around Waverley train station.

The Who Dares Charity, established by two former soldiers to help people those PTSD, commented: “It is a sign of the times that a soldier is left to die on our streets. It is an utter outrage.”

For four years in the late 1980s, Greenfield served with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, the oldest tank unit in the world, based in Tidworth in Wiltshire.

After that, he took a position with the Royal Army Pay Corps from 1990 to 1992 and was employed at the Adjutant General's Corps from 1992 to 1998, and then Greenfield left the service.

The news about Greenfield’s passing created anger among social service advocates who are calling for more to be done to help vets to return to civilian life.

Various sources estimate that at least 13,000 former soldiers are currently homeless in the UK, a record high number.

Keep in mind that a number of charities tried to help Greenfield get off the streets, but the proud squaddie always said no thank you.

Tommy Davidson, the secretary of Ancre Somme Association Scotland, commented: 'We are all saddened by the death of Darren. I first came into contact with Darren, probably like many others, when I was shopping in Edinburgh about six months ago.

He continued, 'I came up the stairs from Waverley station and I noticed him. Thousands of Scots and tourists would have seen Darren sitting there.'

Retired infantry sergeant Calum McLeod, one of the founders of Who Dares Cares, remarked: “It is a sign of the times that a soldier is left to die on our streets….It is an utter outrage.”

McLeod continued: “The homeless problem will get worse as… more people return from the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is a long-term problem with no easy solution. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Darren's friends and family at this very difficult time.”

Also of interest, Lt Colonel (Retd) Stephen May, from the Royal Tank Regiment, noted: “We're very saddened by Darren's loss. We have been supporting him financially since 2000.”
Les Standish, a vet who won the Military Medal in the Falklands War, recently commented in an interview with the media:

"The Government have let these people down. These men and women were willing to fight and lay down their lives for this country and the only help available to them is from charities," he said.

"The Government needs to do more for them. It's a disgrace."

Standish is an ex-member of 2 Para who was homeless for six months a few years ago, and he explained he has met literally hundreds of vets who have no choice but to sleep in doorways, bus stops and parks.

He continued: “All of the homeless veterans I met had PTSD and were in need of help.”
Another charity group called Soldiers Off The Street paid their respects to Greenfield on social media.

The group’s touching post read in part: “Ex-Royal Tank soldier Darren, who sat at the top of the Waverley Steps in Edinburgh, sadly died on December 17 after refusing help from Soldiers Off The Street, SSAFA, and others. We tried helping him but we think the streets were his only way of living and coping with life. Now he can rest in peace and fly with the angels.”

Source: Dailymail
Photo: Dailymail

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