Michele ApterMichele's family tree shows military men from both world wars, so it was no surprise when two of her sons joined the military. Tours of Iraq, and physical and mental injuries has meant that Michele has struggled to keep her sons safe since they left the army, and after numerous suicide attempts Michele's own mental health has suffered significantly...
Michele Apter – Film 1Michele is the mother of two former soldiers. Sam was always destined for the military and wanted to sign-up from the age of 6. He joined The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, which changed to The Rifles in 2005. His older brother Sean joined The Royal Artillery in 2010. Watch as Michele describes how she found it strange sending her son letters whilst he was serving in Iraq, and how worried she was during a video call when shouts of 'incoming' led to the screen going blank.
Michele Apter – Film 2Michele's son Sam had already done one tour of Iraq when signs of mental stress appeared. When he returned from his second tour he was different, physically and mentally. Sam was diagnosed with PTSD whilst in the army, which led to him becoming involved with the Band of Brothers. Listen as Michele expplains that Sam has never opened up to her about what he had seen or done; most of what she knows about Iraq comes from other veterans or from what she overheard Sam saying to others. Her knowledge of PTSD came when she joined Help for Heroes' Band of Sisters.
Michele Apter – Film 3Michelle's eldest son Sean left the army to focus on his family. It was not long before his mental health plummeted, and having already left the military, he had to wait for treatment through the NHS. Younger brother Sam’s PTSD is chronic, and the stress of it all has caused mental health issues for Michele as well. Both Sam and Sean have had multiple suicide attempts. Watch Michele recall how SSAFA stepped in to help Sean, and Help for Heroes' Band of Sisters supported Michele when she really needed it.
Michele Apter – Film 4Michele has received great support from Help for Heroes' Band of Sisters, but finds it tough to go to Plymouth for support in person because the thought of going through a gatehouse makes her think about what her sons have been through. Listen as Michele describes how much she is still struggling, and how by trying to find things to focus on she hopes to see a better future for herself and her sons.
Michele Apter – Film 5Michele's sons are very loyal to their regiments and appreciative of all the charities which have helped them. Watch Michele describe how she used to be caring and feel for others, but now lacks any real emotion or sympathy because of the struggles she and her boys have endured.
Michele’s family tree shows military men from both world wars, so it was no surprise when two of her sons joined the military. Tours of Iraq, and physical and mental injuries has meant that Michele has struggled to keep her sons safe since they left the army, and after numerous suicide attempts Michele’s own mental health has suffered significantly…