WO1 Karl Tearney, Army Air Corps (Retd)
I met Captain Anthony Bird at Clarence House at the Xmas party last year, Chief Pilot for The Queen’s Helicopter Flight, and he knew Karl very well in the Forces and was very sad and surprised to hear he was suffering badly from PTSD as a result of all that he done and seen in N. Ireland, Egypt, Israel, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and said what a fantastic man and pilot he was and how much he would like to see him again.
Karl has discovered poetry and art since he was medically discharged with PTSD, poems pouring urgently out of him, and his 570 to date poems will be displayed on one wall titled ‘ For Love of Words’ . He also speaks honestly and powerfully about mental illness and gives voluntary talks to the Ambulance Service to help them deal with traumatic work. Here is his own brief bio:
Karl joined as a Junior Leader in June of 1983 and progressed as a ground crewman within the Army Air Corps until 1993 when he qualified as an Army Helicopter pilot. Initially he flew the Gazelle in both the reconnaissance and support role with tours to Northern Ireland and Bosnia. Then onto the Apache training team as an airborne instructor in Electronic Warfare which took him to Iraq and Afghanistan. His career ended abruptly with delayed onset complex PTSD and Co-Morbid depression. He now finds solace in Art and Poetry, which helps relieve some of the stress brought about by his condition.
None of the artists exhibiting painted or wrote poetry before their brain injury or PTSD. Their poetry will be exhibited along side their paintings.