Soldier Makes a Suicide Attempt by Overdosing on his Antidepressants & Sleeping Pills

Paragraph six reads:  "Last month he saved up his anti-depressants and sleeping pills in a bid to take his life."

By DUNCAN LARCOMBE, Defence Editor

Published: Today

AN ex-soldier who carries the mental scars of NINE tours of duty told last night how he tried suicide after being awarded just �9,000 compensation.

Michael Fong, 36 – given the sum after he developed post-traumatic stress disorder – spoke out after The Sun revealed yesterday that VC hero Johnson Beharry had also attempted to kill himself.

Like Johnson, Michael risked his life for his country, seeing friends gunned down on the front line. But back from war he now faces psychological troubles that will stay with him forever.

He spent 12 years in the Army, completing six tours of Northern Ireland and three of Iraq.

The ex-Kingsman – who served with the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment – dreads sleeping, cannot work and relies on strong medication.

He cannot leave home without a carer and hits the ground when a mobile rings. By day he is tortured by flashbacks. In bed, nightmares turn him into a sweating, screaming wreck.

Last month he saved up his anti-depressants and sleeping pills in a bid to take his life.
Flashbacks … Mike yesterday

Only the arrival of friends at his home prevented a tragedy.

Mike, who lives near Cramlington, Northumberland, said: "I planned to take the lot. Suicide is on my mind every day.

"I delay going to bed as long as possible. I hear mortars and shouts of 'Incoming!'. I see seas of blood and smell the stench of dead people and dogs.

"I lost a mate in 2007 and see his face. I want to reach out and save him but I can't.

"Once I shouted 'Incoming!' in my sleep. I gave my then girlfriend a black eye and broke her nose. I even tried to suffocate her with a pillow. When she woke me I was oblivious."

Mike left the Army in 2008 with an exemplary record and an Iraq medal.

He has suffered panic attacks when hearing a train and while seeing kids play a computer war game.

His only job since the Army, on a building site, lasted weeks until colleagues used a nail gun and he dived to the floor.

Mike is on benefits after receiving the �9,000 from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

He has a son of ten but does not see him, fearing he may inadvertently harm the lad.

Mike said: "PTSD is like a brick wall around me."