It is a fact we all have to come to terms with, whether we are the defenders or not.
There is an unquantifiable number of people who will present in the next ten years with a hearing issue as a direct result of being in a war zone. Either it comes on immediately or it is gradual. Often it is not present at a medical discharge, simply because there are so many other things going on, that it is unnoticeable. Besides, your immediate family and friends will often adapt to your hearing.
Being deafened at any age is scary. However deaf and hearing awareness programmes have been in place in the public sector in the UK for some ten years. People from train station employees to Councils and hospital Receptionists will look up when you tell them of a hearing issue. They will look directly at the person and speak clearly. This is the best thing you can do. It used to be good manners before everyone became busy.
Next time: On The Fringe