The Armed Forces carry out their role with courage and humility, but often play down the sacrifice and bravery required to serve.
They won't tell you what it means to say goodbye to loved ones and face the possibility of never coming home. It can be difficult to imagine the dangers faced and sacrifices made by the men and women of our Armed Forces.
We brought together veterans and serving personnel to share the experiences they won't often talk about with others.
Mike served in the Army for over 16 years, completing tours of Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans. After a serious shoulder injury, he was medically discharged in 2016 and experienced chronic pain and depression which began to have an impact on his marriage. But with our support, he and his wife have rebuilt their life together.
“Without the help and support of the RBL I’m not sure where I would be.”
Karen served for 13 years in the Army and lost two close comrades in Afghanistan. After her brother was tragically killed in 2021, she began to feel overwhelmed and turned to RBL for support.
Attending a residential course for veterans at RBL’s Battle Back Centre - our dedicated facility supporting wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans was a pivotal moment.
“The course made such a difference and allowed me to have space, take time and start to talk about everything that had gone on and help me begin to process my grief and personal struggles."
Colin joined the Royal Marines in 1977 and, after a tour of Northern Ireland, was called up to serve in the Falklands War.
He lost several comrades during the conflict and lives with severe PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) as a result. Colin has found it hard to adjust to civilian life, but RBL has been there to provide advice and support.
"The RBL has been brilliant with me."
Ted has served in the Army since 1987 and is currently a Warrant Officer Class 1 with The Royal Lancers.
After contracting a rare bacterial infection in Afghanistan in 2012, Ted struggled physically and mentally. A huge step in his recovery came when he attended RBL's Battle Back Centre, where he completed a course designed to help improve motivation and the ability to deal with stress.
"I never wanted to leave the Service... I’ve only ever wanted to get back to how I was before."