LAL'S Story

Lal served in the Royal Gurkha Rifles as a senior regimental band musician and as a trained combat medic. His career spanned over 18 years until he reached military retirement age.

He wanted to continue to work but the rapid onset of the Covid 19 pandemic meant that there were suddenly no jobs available. As time passed, his financial difficulties increased, and eventually he approached Walking With The Wounded for help.

Humble beginnings

Lal was born in a remote village high in the mountains of Nepal. The eldest son of 5 children, his parents looked to him to contribute towards the upkeep of the family farm.

As his education had been minimal, and his social position limited by the Nepalese caste system, the only available way to progress, was to become a soldier. Despite the fact recruitment into the British Army was notoriously hard, Lal was accepted to join the Royal Gurkha Rifles.

Up until now, Lal’s entire world had revolved around rural village life. Now he was posted to busy and vibrant Hong Kong to begin his training. For the first time he started to see the world and meet people from many different backgrounds.

Life in the Royal Gurkha Rifles

Lal trained to become a band musician with the Brigade of Gurkhas and specialised in playing the coronet, trumpet, and bugle. He also became a trained medic and when he was later deployed to the Balkans, the Gulf War and to Afghanistan, he worked as an ambulance assistant tending to casualties.

Overall, it was an exciting and rewarding job and Lal was incredibly proud to serve in the British Army. He admits though that it could be hard work and that sometimes he encountered prejudice and felt impeded in his career.

After several years waiting patiently to receive a promotion, Lal decided that he needed to push himself and see what he could achieve in the outside world. He had no other working experience; the military had been his home and had always guided him. When he resigned, he took a huge step into the unknown.

"It was a difficult decision to resign from the Army, but I knew that I had to push myself forward and fight for my future. I had no idea about life outside the military."

Lal, military veteran and WWTW beneficiary

Navigating civilian life

Lal moved to London and for the next few years, he worked as a civilian in the security industry. It was fine but he missed the military environment and eventually he rejoined and continued to work in security for the Royal Airforce at Northolt. He also received a promotion to Corporal.

Lal retired in 2019, when he was 55 years old, and his military contract ended. He travelled home to Nepal several times, but when the global Covid 19 pandemic struck, he was locked down abroad for almost a year.

When he was finally able to return to the UK, he needed a job. He searched high and low for security work, but nobody was hiring. With no income, he and his wife became reliant on their son to support them. It was a difficult position for Lal, who had a keen sense of duty and responsibility.

Searching for a new career

Lal decided that he needed help and he contacted WWTW who appointed Jon to be his Employment Advisor. They talked about his considerable work experience and skills, his financial requirements and work goals. Jon quickly reworked Lal’s CV and then contacted security companies to see if they had any work opportunities. He composed an introductory letter and made applications on Lal’s behalf. Jon secured an interview for Lal for a suitable job working at Brunel University - Lal impressed them and was offered the role.

Although employed, Lal was in a financial gap until his first pay cheque. Using WWTW’s Quick Response Fund (QRF), Jon bought and sent Lal his interim uniform so that he could start his new job.

" am so glad that Jon found me this job. It has put me back on track with a good, regular income. I never thought that there were such kind and caring people in the world. I am so happy. I’m over the Moon."

Lal, military veteran and WWTW beneficiary

Lal and his family are now financially secure - they are very close and mutually supportive, so everyone now benefits from his new role. When he eventually retires, Lal and his wife plan to move back to their home in Nepal.


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