Vicky served for 19 years in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). In 2019, after being diagnosed with PTSD, she was medically discharged. Our partner charity, Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), provided her with a new home in its veteran village in Kent, with financial support from the Army Benevolent Fund. She is now enjoying life as an RBLI volunteer.  

Vicky grew up in a military family and joined the Army after deciding to leave university before completing her degree. Following in her father’s footsteps, she served for 19 years as a combat medical technician in the RAMC and reached the rank of Sergeant. She served in Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. On her second tour of Afghanistan, she served alongside 1st Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment as their C company medic on daily patrols. Vicky achieved her ambition to provide frontline medical support to soldiers in conflict operational environments.

Following her last tour in Afghanistan, Vicky started to “self-destruct”. She recalls: “I enjoyed my service and would not go back and change anything, but it took its toll over the years. I was battling but not getting anywhere. I was stuck and had too many triggers. I also felt angry, frustrated and a mess. I struggled for six years, not enjoying my work, and saw a doctor to explain how I didn’t feel suited to the Army anymore.” Vicky was diagnosed with PTSD and medically discharged in 2019, which was “a devastating and unexpected end to a career that I loved.”

One day Vicky saw a poppy on a lamp post and visited the welfare office of RBLI, our partner charity, where she broke down in tears. The team at RBLI helped her to turn her life around and, with the help of an ABF grant, she secured a rent advance/deposit on her first home. In 2020, she moved into RBLI’s village in Aylesford Kent with her therapy dog Dexter and partner. She is now enjoying life as an RBLI volunteer, running coffee mornings, and walking other veterans’ dogs.

Vicky says: “ABF help was amazing. I didn’t have any funds for a house, just my belongings. I was able to start my life again. Without Dexter I would not be here today; he gave me a purpose and keeps me grounded. I am now happily living a simple life.”

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