Jon's Story

Jonathan joined the Royal Marines in July 1994 and served a total of 13 years. Jonathan has seen operational service in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. During his Royal Marines career Jonathan served with 42 and 43 Commando, deployed with Police Troop and was a Fire Team Commander in Northern Ireland and Iraq. Jonathan was part of the first fighting company in Kajaki, Afghanistan (2006-2007).

Jonathan was injured on two occasions whilst serving in the Royal Marines, however his injuries did not influence his decision to leave the Royal Marines. He did have the opportunity to continue with his career but made the decision to leave to allow him to change direction before he felt he was too old.

One year after his discharge Jonathan began to have problems with his back and after investigation it was discovered that he had sustained two injuries – fractures at the bottom of his spine which involved 4 discs, and a stress-fracture between his shoulder blades. He has nerve damage affecting his left leg which can cause a significant amount of pain resulting in difficulty in walking. Jonathan’s injuries have been attributed to his service in the Royal Marines.

Jonathan manages his pain with medication but hopes to self-fund acupuncture once he has completed his studies and is in employment. Jonathan feels his pain is a constant juggling act – a combination of taking sufficient pain relief to relieve his pain but leave him feeling ‘too much like a zombie’, or not enough pain relief but having to live with the pain this causes.

Jonathan’s first job after leaving the Marines was as a security guard at a bank. He was promoted quickly and became deputy of the Security Systems Team.

Jonathan was made redundant in 2012 due to his health issues. Jonathan recognised that his health wasn’t as good as it should be and he was aware that he was pushing himself too hard and he recognised he had a home and family to support.

Jonathan said "If I knew then what I know now, I would have changed direction in 2010. My life was a cycle of ‘work/sleep/repeat’”.

Jonathan participated in a Pathfinder Experience course [at Tedworth House] which supports transition into civilian employment. The course indicated a suitable career choice in teaching (scoring above 80%).

Jonathan started his University degree in History and Politics, with the aim of becoming a teacher, in September 2012. His disability, studying full-time and juggling family life took its toll and as a result he reconsidered his career plan and degree. He is now studying for his BA (Hons) International Relations and History. Now looking towards a career as a Security Analyst, Jonathan believes this will be a better fit and it will allow him to utilise his previous experience within the military and also from his time in the financial security industry.

Jonathan is realistic in his employment goals and is hoping to secure either part-time work or a job-share, which will allow him to work and balance his disability issues. Jonathan is a wheelchair user and hopes to find work that fits with his condition and mobility issues.

Walking With The Wounded's First Steps programme provided funding for two years of Jonathan’s University Fees. Jonathan is striving to achieve a 1st in his University results.

Jonathan’s biggest achievements since leaving the Royal Marines was being selected for the 2016 Invictus Games [Orlando] where he won a bronze medal in the compound archery team event, and for being accepted into University to complete his degree. “I never thought I would get into University”.

Jonathan commented: “WWTW have helped me by taking the financial pressure and worry away from my wish to study. I get an enormous sense of well being from studying. University has given me motivation to keep going, and to realise that I can do something worthwhile.”

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