Kevin served in the Army for twenty years as a tank transport driver. His active service included the Gulf War and five tours in Northern Ireland. He thoroughly enjoyed his time in the Army and adjusted to civilian life easily after he left and took up a job as an HGV Class 1 Driver. However, some years after leaving he started to suffer badly with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
His symptoms included distressing nightmares and vivid flashbacks to his time in the Gulf and northern Ireland. After two years of treatment he went back to work and life got back to normal but then 3 years ago the symptoms reappeared. He says that at that time his wife just couldn’t go through it again and his marriage broke down. He left his job and felt lower than low, drinking heavily in an attempt to block out his symptoms and effectively trying to end his life.
He was living alone and feeling desperate when one day he contacted SVR by email and before he knew it he was brought to Rosendael to stay. Kevin says that he never looked back. He thought that everything about Rosendael was brilliant: the staff, the accommodation and the location in Broughty Ferry. The staff knew so much about veterans and worked with so many agencies that they knew exactly how to support him. It was difficult at first but the tranquillity at Rosendael was very soothing and he was greatly helped by an NHS psychiatrist and Ron Cairns, one of SVR’s two therapeutic counsellors.
Soon Kevin was able to join in activities: he went to the Not Forgotten Association Christmas Party at Kensington Palace and took part in archery and clay pigeon shooting events run by Legion Scotland.
When his Dad fell ill and Kevin transferred to Bellrock Close in Glasgow to be near to his parents. Again he was helped by the staff to register with health services, local facilities and education providers. The staff were always available to have a cup of tea and a chat and it was good to be able to talk and have a laugh with the others residents as well.
Kevin is delighted that he has now been offered a secure tenancy at one of the mainstream flats at Bellrock. He says that it is a weight off his mind to know that he has a secure tenancy in a home of his own and has saved up to buy his own furniture and household items.
Kevin is a volunteer in the RVS café at Bellrock Close and is taking a computing course at Easterhouse Campus. Although he is still troubled with nightmares and continues to see Ron, he has plans for the future and hopes to complete a course in logistics planning and eventually get back into full time employment. He is looking forward to the day when he can get up every day and go to work.
Kevin says that he can’t thank the SVR staff enough : he is without doubt that he is alive today because of their dedicated help and support.