Chinook Crew Chick – The Highs and Lows of Military Life with Liz McConaghy
Liz McConaghy joins Dr Ruth Allan on Episode 066 of her show ‘Brain Health: Unchaining Your Pain’
Liz, an Ex RAF Chinook Crewman, served 17 years and completed 2 deployments to Iraq and 10 to Afghanistan. She suffered from PTSD and, in 2020, tried to end her life.
She recently released her book ‘Chinook Crew Chick: The Highs and Lows of Forces Life from the Longest Serving Female RAF Chinook Force Crew Member’ to try and help others with Mental Health struggles.
During her deployments, she survived not only a near-fatal wire strike onboard her CH47 but numerous enemy fire contacts’ defending her crew by returning fire from both the M134 Minigun’ and M60 weapons entrusted to her to operate.
Her most significant honour of all her duties, however, was serving on the Medical Emergency Response Team, or MERT – more commonly known as the flying ambulance. This involved recovering wounded soldiers from the battlefield, often under fire, and witnessing them both die and, indeed come back to life at her feet in the cabin of her Chinook.
In this episode, Liz openly shares the highs and lows that she experienced during her service and what she learned from trying to take her own life following the lockdown, and how she is using her story to provide hope to others.
Liz discusses the impact of losing the network of people essential to her, how lockdown isolation restricted her exercise routine, resulting in a change of behaviours and eating habits that quickly spiralled downwards. She shares the impact of the domino effect on her mental health and how her constant drive not to be a burden to others led to her seeking a terminal way out to end her pain
If you need professional support to address a past trauma or unhelpful experience, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly or speak to your healthcare professional.
Please remember – you are not stuck with the brain you have. You have the power to make it better and Dr Ruth Allan can show you how
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