Last September, he was serving in Afghanistan when he was gravely injured in a landmine explosion. He lost both legs, suffered injuries to his brain, spleen and chest, and fractures to his head, face, pelvis and spine. He wasn't expected to survive, and indeed he's thought to be one of the most gravely-wounded British soldiers ever to survive his injuries.
How did we take care of him when he came home? We took care of him like this. The bureaucratic bean-counters at the MoD granted Ben, who will need round-the-clock care for the rest of his life, just £152,000 in compensation.
It's no wonder his mother describes it as an insult. Our flat's worth more than that. There are footballers earning more than that a week.
The MoD, trying to claw back some credibility, says that the one-off payment and tax-free payments when he leaves the Army "could exceed £1 million over his lifetime." Well whoopee fucking doo. He's 23 years old; if by some miracle he does get the right care he could live another forty years. Will that million quid stretch that far, considering his nursing needs?
This is not new. It says something about Britain that it took a comedy programme to sum this bloody scandal up, but a few years ago Uncle Albert, a character in Only Fools And Horses was talking about the Second World War, and the men who came back dreadfully injured, hoping their country would look after them, and he said, "They promised us homes fit for heroes, and what did we get? Heroes fit for homes."
I don't know why Ben Parkinson joined the Army and I don't know what he thought about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I do know we owe him better than this. If this is how we treat our wounded servicemen - and Ben's case is not the only one - we don't deserve to have an Army.