The Way of the Wolf - Poetry of a Veteran
'The Way of the Wolf' is due for release in May 2012. I'm working on the finishing touches as you read this blog piece.
One of the aims of this collection is to touch on the issue of racism in the Armed Forces and the Metropolitan Police in London, England. When I think about my experiences and the incidents that caused me to contract Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I have no doubt that the racism I was subjected to compounded the situations because during certain times, I knew that no one was covering my back - this is more true for the Metropolitan Police (MP) than the Royal Air Force Police (RAFP); although there were the odd incidents there too.
The big difference between the racism I suffered in the RAFP and the MP is that I had mates in the RAFP that had my back and actually brought the racism to a senior officer's attention in Northern Ireland.
I'd love to mention the names of those of the people that helped me in those times of uniform service, the only thing that stops me is the risk of some sort of repercussion towards them in case they're still serving in those sorts of careers.
The book provides an insight into a Veteran's experience of living with PTSD and raises awareness of Asian Veterans who can, if they're not properly supported, disappear between the cracks of white British and Asian culture. My experiences stem from the 1980s. A time when joining the Armed Forces or any of the Constabularies could leave you ostracised by Asian communities. The other side of that coin was just as harsh, as very often, you could be serving with people that didn't want you in their uniform. You had to work hard to survive in those roles. From what I hear from some officers in the Metropolitan Police, things haven't altered all that much for Asian or Black officers.
The Way of the Wolf continues to touch on other emotions, some light, on the continual journey of life that hits peaks and troughs. Writing these words and continuing with my photography allows me a way of trying to balance through the extreme periods and to continue my existence. It also reflects on the futility of war and hints at the games politicians play with little regard for the members of their Armed Forces.
The immediate aim of both these books is to raise money to carry on with awareness raising work on the difficulties faced by Veterans with PTSD and their loved ones. This will be done through exhbitions and workshops. Should there be any profits, some funds will be used to buy materials for the Occupational Therapy units at 'Combat Stress', as part of my work is to raise awareness of the benefits of using creativity to cope with PTSD.
Another area of work is to help disabled artisits to promote and protect their Intellectual Property on the internet and to help them to develop simple ways to sell their art independently and through networks. Please check out 'Respect IP'. This resource will continue to be updated as and when time and energy allows. This resource has already helped some new artists to get off the ground.
I hope that you can support the projects by buying the titles and spreading the word about my work. There are no publicists involved in this project, I only have you to rely upon.
All the best
Villayat 'Wolf' Sunkmanitu