Having joined the military in early 2008, Tom went on to serve on two tours of Afghanistan with the Paras in the summer of 2009 and in early 2010. Whilst serving in 2009 the vehicle at the front of his patrol was hit killing three of his friends and seriously injuring another. During the aftermath, Tom developed PTSD, a condition that turned his life upside down. Tom had never envisaged leaving the army, so the sudden and premature end to his military career left him shattered and disillusioned, a situation which was made harder by the lack of support at home.
Following attendance at a Lifeworks Course at RBLI, Tom decided to pursue a two year music course at the Manchester Music School. Although Tom was taking his studies very seriously, he had no means of income other than working in a bar which barely covered his food. It was agreed that expecting him to find more work for his income’s sake would only worsen his current mental condition and that funding was necessary. As such Walking With The Wounded provided £5,000 of funding via its First Steps program to complete his Level 3 Music Practitioners apprenticeship.
Our funding has not only bought the necessary books and equipment for his course, it has provided stability and the peace of mind that he can afford to live, eat and pay his bills whilst focussing on his studies.
Tom commented: “An added bonus is being able to get back into the gym, the gym has always been a release for me and a great ‘healing’ method! At one point I couldn’t go to the gym to blow off some steam, whereas now I can…and that for me really works. Simply put – Walking With The Wounded has made such a difference to my life, yes I still have PTSD but with their help I can focus on taking control of my PTSD and my future plans.” Tom’s teacher Sue Quinn added: “It is fantastic that Walking With The Wounded can support Tom in this way, to aid him in achieving something that will help make his future a happier one is just wonderful.”