Bomb horror survivor Steve "Taffy" Horvath takes on charity walk for Combat Stress
7:40am Monday 10th September 2012 in News
A NORTHERN Ireland veteran, who is still haunted by a pub bombing that killed 17 people, will undertake a 68-mile sponsored walk for Combat Stress.
Steve ‘Taffy’ Horvath, of Rosemary Lane, Haverfordwest, has teamed up with keen walkers Peter Jenkins, of Castle Square, and Chris Jarvis-Wilks, of Rosemary Lane, to walk from Castlemartin Camp to Brawdy on September 23rd.
Steve, who is a former Army paramedic, was injured physically and mentally in 1982 following an explosion at the Droppin’ Well pub in Ballykelly.
And 23 years later, the 50- year-old was diagnosed with Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Steve, who still suffers flashbacks from the bombing, said: “The thing about PTSD is that once you are diagnosed, you have it for the rest of your life.
“It’s an ongoing battle. I lost 17 good friends in the bombing, and on one hand I count myself lucky to have survived, but another part of me says: you should have died with them. And I have to live with that guilt for the rest of my life.”
Steve said veterans can suffer a variety of symptoms, which have to be managed every day.
“A smell or sound – anything – can trigger a flashback.
And if a car backfires, or a door slams, nine times out of ten we would hit the deck.
“You can take the soldier away from the conflict, but you cannot take the conflict away from the soldier.”
Chris, aged 25, whose grandfather fought in the Second World War, has also witnessed the impact war has had on his own family.
He said: “My grandfather suffered from PTSD, although it was in silence.”
Peter, aged 69, added: “These good men and women, who have been in battle, come out and step into another battle – in their head. One day they can be Dr Jekyll and on another they are Mr Hyde.
“I hope we can raise enough money to help these people and their families.”