We sat down with Ben Gallagher from the Walk of Oman Expedition Team to find out how his family supported him during and after his career in the Armed Forces.
How important was the support of your family/friends when you left the Armed Forces?
The support of family and friends whilst going through medical discharge after a 16yr career was vital. It helped to normalise the process. And, having people to speak with and talk to about the situation was so important to me. Support from family members and advice from friends/colleges helped to ease the anxiety of having served in the military for so long.
How important is the support of your friends/family whilst serving in the Armed Forces?
Having family and friends outside of the military that are not colleagues and part of the working environment created a sense of normality for me. It gave me time out of work where I was not in, around, or discussing ‘work’.
That said, having friends in the military is great for talking about difficult situations. Whilst I was recovering hospital from my injury, the support and regular visits from friends helped me hugely through a very hard and emotional time.
You can often speak with serving mates about things you wouldn’t tend to talk to your family about and vice versa.
Can you think of a specific example of how they supported you?
Whilst seriously injured in hospital I could rely on friends and family to regularly visit and keep me company. They would often bring me gifts to lighten the circumstances and provide me with emotional support whilst in hospital and throughout my rehabilitation. Also having people to discuss life choices with when in an emotional state stops erratic thinking and normalises the process.
Who is the person that you most admire in your family/friendship group?
I admire my Grandad for his strength and resilience when going through adversity and serious illness. I spent a lot of my younger childhood with my Grandad of which a lot of my time was in his company down in the garage fixing and mending things, learning many of life’s important lessons.
Unfortunately, he fell terribly ill shortly before I was injured and was hospitalised around the same time I was admitted to the hospital. I wasn’t able to spend any time with him throughout this period and he passed away shortly after I was discharged from the hospital.
He was always there for me and I looked up to him dearly, he was so proud of me and what I had achieved during my military service.
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