From a very young age I wanted to be a soldier, all the male role models in my life including my father had served in the British Armed Forces. As soon as I turned sixteen I enlisted with the Armed Forces. Having served in Cyprus, Belize, Kenya and Northen Ireland I saw active service. Seeing this had a detrimental effect on my health and mental wellbeing.
I left the Armed Forces in August of 1993 and was diagnosed with PTSD in 1997. During this time there was no support for me. I was a confused and angry young man. I was trained to be a soldier to meet violence with violence and to resolve conflict with violence. I was not de-trained, I didn’t have any support in becoming a civilian again. This, accompanied with PTSD resulted in a lengthy criminal record and a considerable amount of wrong choices.
Having suffered with PTSD for some 20 years I finally realised that I couldn’t carry on living the life I had previously. So with this in mind I decided to turn things around and make some positive life changes.
I feel that through my experiences I can help others, empowering them to help themselves. I think ex-service men and women deserve a support network when leaving the armed forces, having served their country I feel they’ve earned it – this is a passion of mine. With Change Step I feel both honoured and privileged to be involved and part of such a positive project.