Face of the day



Today’s face of the day is Lt Col Bill Blaikie, an Afghanistan veteran, father of 3, battling with the effects of PTSD and needing treatment that is not available here, but is available in Australia.Lt Col Bill Blaikie has been forced to make a Public Appeal to raise the $42,000 needed for his treatment because he has been rejected by Veterans Affairs for support because they do not fund overseas treatment.

The President of the RSA was sympathetic but no funds were forthcoming.It may be relevant that the Head of Veterans Affairs declined to attend or send a representative to the last 1RNZIR The Originals Meeting earlier this year. Given that this was the largest group of Malaya/Malaysia/Borneo/Vietnam Veterans who meet only every two years, the response of Veterans Affairs drew much negative comment.

… isn’t it time that you and I start asking the hard questions of why not Veterans Affairs? And to the RSA, what happened to the thousands of dollars collected on each annual poppy day especially for the welfare of our Veterans?


Bill Blaikie was a Lieutenant Colonel (New Zealand Defence Force-NZDF) and Deputy Director of Intelligence for Combined Force Command in a tour of Afghanistan in 2004.  During Bill’s career and contribution to the NZDF he found himself in some horrific situations. Bill was mentally tortured and abused in a hostage-like situation. Bill has written about this experience as part of his cathartic treatment. He was involved in a number of incidents where he believed that he would not survive to see his wife Nancy, and their three children again.  You can read more about Bill’s story here

In 2006 Bill was diagnosed with chronic complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is recognized by Veterans Affairs New Zealand.  This is also known as Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI).

PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by any traumatic event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. In 2012 Bill had a major breakdown and twice tried to take his life. Since then he has been unable to work and has concentrated on his recovery, however unfortunately he is out of recovery options here in NZ.

There are no group therapy programs or supporting programs available in New Zealand that can help chronic PTSD sufferers from the military. Bill’s Doctor, psychiatrist and psychologist have recommended that he attend an Inpatient Trauma Program. This is based at the St John’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia, which is rated ‘gold standard’ by Australian department of Veterans Affairs. The residential programme is four weeks long with several follow up phases over a nine month period. This programme has been in place for 20 years and has had fantastic results working with people to recover from chronic PTSD. Family are invited to attend certain parts of the program over the nine months for better treatment outcomes.

Bill needs to raise $42,000 for the full treatment, accommodation and travel expenses – and we Warriors can raise that in no time at all.

The next treatment intake is in August 2016, and I know we can raise the funds needed to get Bill into it.

Bill has sacrificed so much of himself to protect and defend, and we want to help him to recover from what he has seen, heard and been exposed to.  Bill needs our help, as the One Dollar Warriors, to get his life back.

It’s Bill’s dream that once he has recovered from PTSD, he can bring the recovery programme back to NZ to assist others who are living in the nightmare also.

So come on Warriors, let’s all put our dollar forward and raise the $42,000 that Bill needs to get his life back!!!


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