- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 25, 2015

A U.K. veterans group has released a set of mock ‘Action Man’ toy commercials to bring attention to the dark realities of war.

Veterans for Peace U.K.’s “Action Man: Battlefield Casualties” videos, which parody toy ads seen in the 1980s, shows children playing with PTSD Action Man, Paralysed Action Man, and Dead Action Man.

“No matter how bad anyone thinks this film is, the reality is worse. It’s not sick to show what actually happens in a war. It’s sick to convince people to join that war without telling them what’s possibly going to happen. Recruiting 16-year-olds into the army is sick,” artist Darren Cullen said Vice News reported Tuesday.

The group hopes to spotlight a program in the U.K. that allows 16-year-old males to be recruited into the military. Although those teenagers cannot deploy until they are 18, a study by ForcesWatch and Child Soldiers International found that they are twice as likely to die in combat as adult recruits.

“This is about prying open a crack in the spectacle of military propaganda. Warfare isn’t glamorous. The wars we fight are not noble causes,” said Ben Griffin, former SAS commando and founder of Veterans For Peace U.K., Vice News reported. “All of this propaganda is an attempt to recruit society to the idea that Britain has a noble and great military, and that we should use it. But there’s another side to that story.”

U.K. veteran Daniel Campbell agreed. He helped the Afghan army dispose of IEDs during his deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, but now suffers from PTSD and dreams about dead children he could not save.

“I am PTSD Action Man for all intents and purposes,” the veteran told Vice News. “I really qualified my role in Afghanistan as saying, ‘No, no. I’m actually making a difference here, I’m looking after civilians.’ But then civilians ended up dying anyway. I found that really difficult to cope with.”

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