My name is John. In 1990 I joined the Territorial Army, I wanted to do something different in my spare times as I was getting bored with the everyday routine. During my time in the TA I travelled all over the UK and Europe.

In December 1995 I went on operational tour in Bosnia for six months. The tour was very difficult due to the problems and conditions I faced. On my return I realised I suffered with mental health problems, I thought I could cope. As years went by things started to get a little worse but I still thought I could cope. I started to drink a lot trying to hid my problems and deal with my issues. I lost everything I owned and it cost me my relationship. I left the T.A in 2008.

My problem got worse on the 5th of November with the fireworks. They brought back all the memories of my time in Bosnia. This manifested itself in me drinking heavily and fighting even more, it was getting scary. I went to see my GP, explained how I felt and what my life consisted of. He diagnosed PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He arranged for me to go to Well Being where I had a session with a CPN. He was really good and I felt like I could talk to someone that actually listened to all my problems. I attended all my sessions and started to feel a little better. I still had my bad days; they caused me to mentally and physically abuse my partner. Ultimately this caused us splitting for a while. I had lost my friend, soul mate and my lover: whom I thought the world of. Thankfully we have since gotten back together.

On my last session with the CPN I was given a leaflet for a charity in Brighton called Help For Veterans. I phoned them and they got back to me and arranged a meeting. I thought it would be very difficult to talk to a total stranger, however their staff made me feel comfortable. The guy I was talking to was a veteran and I realised he had gone through the same mental health situation and he understood me.

I told him of all the problems I was facing including; struggles with accommodation and that I had found a job prospect in South Wales. He got in touch with The Royal British Legion and they helped me financially to go for an interview with my partner. The interview was successful and I was promised the job if I could move to South Wales.

HFV arranged help from both The Royal British Legion branches in Brighton and South Wales for the move and for my new accommodation, as I did not have the deposit or a months rent advance. The staff at HFV has been a huge help, friends and heroes to my partner and me. The Royal British Legion has also been wonderful helping me too.