ARMY VETERAN Andrew
In his own words.
“I joined the Army aged 15 in 1962. At age 20 I was in Aden, fighting in the Yemen. During my time there, I was the driver of a patrol vehicle and we were ambushed. The vehicle was blown up and my body was filled with shrapnel. I was in hospital for a few weeks recovering but then back on duty.
“In total I served for 24 years and I then went to work for the Sultan of Oman, teaching military skills to the Royal Guard. I really enjoyed this job but after 12 years I decided it was time to move back to the UK.
“I got married and found a job – life was good. After relocating to Edinburgh I found a new job at the University as part of the security team. But after experiencing an electric shock whilst doing my job, my whole world changed – it opened a can of worms for me. I found myself going back into the theatres of war, going through the awful events all over again. Flashbacks and nightmares – these had never happened before but suddenly I was experiencing them.
“I can truly say Combat Stress is a wonderful organisation. Thanks to Kerry, one of the senior nurses at the charity, I was brought back from a very dark place to a place of hope. Kerry has helped me enormously – with her help and by using the charity’s specialist sensory modulation technique, I now have a ‘box of tricks’ I can turn to when I need to. The items in the box have been carefully chosen to bring me down / back to reality after a flashback or nightmare.
“I’ve also found the peer support service invaluable – it’s been so helpful to spend time with other veterans who have experienced similar mental health issues to me.”