An Army veteran who lives with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) has been taking part in the Heritage Heroes program, designed by Help for Heroes and the Canal and River Trust, alongside other wounded, injured and sick (WIS) service personnel and veterans.
Matthew Aspinal joined the Army in 2002 and served with the Royal Logistics Corps, and throughout his career went on two operational tours to Iraq. He was made redundant from the Army in 2014, but unfortunately, some mental scars were to stay with him long after leaving the military.
Matthew says: “My first tour of Iraq was definitely the hardest, I definitely changed as a person on that tour but didn’t even realise it. I got home and my family noticed I wasn’t ok – but I hadn’t so I just carried on.”
It was only when Matthew was made redundant that he realised that he had changed as a person, “I was having nightmares and flashbacks, I became very hypervigilant and it was then my girlfriend said I should speak to my GP.”Matthew was diagnosed with Complex PTSD and became involved with Help for Heroes. Matthew saw the Heritage Heroes project and signed up “I was really interested in the course, it’s a stepping stone to gain further qualifications and experience for future employment.”
“It’s been brilliant, it feels like we’ve known each other forever. We work well as a team and I’ve learnt so much.”