At the age of 17 (1993) I applied for the infantry and gained a placement in the Duke of Wellington Regiment (which is now know as the Yorkshire Regiment) in which I served 12 years leaving in 2005 as a Corporal.

I loved being in the army had a good crack with the lads, friends and colleague and particularly and I thrived on the challenge of the operational tours in which I served in Bosnia, Kosavo, Northern Ireland and Iraq twice.

I left the army for numerous reasons, in particular I wanted to be home more and hated some of the political issues when at base in Osnabrook in Germany. ‘In my last year in the army (2005) i met my now wife Gemma through a blind date, life was good as we loved to spend the weekends together socialising and being around friends and family. ‘Upon approaching my final months in the army we got engaged and set up home together then my father died which affected me badly, i hadnt had much contact with him since i was a child for numerous reasons and felt that i had let my father down because he died alone with nobody around him.

Around this time I was leaving the army and trying to set up my own couriering business – On Christmas Eve of 2005 I had a accident whilst I was couriering through Europe – the Van was a right off and luckerly we had relatives that live in Belgium that were able to get to me, sort out the Van and put me on a ferry in France so that my wife could then collect me at the other in the evening before Christmas Day. I got over his crash quickly and continued driving self employed for a time then for a local company for a regular income more than anything. I started to work for a local bus company as my step-dad had put in a good word for me and this was to be my work placement until now.

I suppose i started to notice some changes in myself back in 2007 with regards to how I felt about life out of the army and that i felt a failure as working on the buses as I felt that this wasnt a job to be proud of! but we carried with life and in the June of 2007 we got married, we had a lovely day and we had never been as happy.

After the honeymoon i felt dark thoughts became aggressive and violent towards Gemma, i started to take things out on the house like breaking door’s i even smacked one of my mates in the pub one night for no reason at all. ‘This started to effect Gemma as well as me as i felt moody all the time and anxious/twitchy, sometimes sleeping loads then not sleeping at all. ‘I was moving loads in my sleep (Gemma said she thought i was marching! – i didnt know what i was doing nor can i remember) I was feeling like i couldnt relax/rest – people kept on asking me all the time what was wrong with me as it was becoming evident to close family and friends but i kept on saying that there was nothing wrong with me so we just carried on, if i was having a good day then everything was ok and if i was having a bad day then Gemma would just stop out of my way.

In June of 2008 my mood swings got worse, Gemma and my parents persuaded me to consult the Doctors and he needed help and at this point i didnt know why i was feeling this way he was as he’d never been happier with Gemma. My Doctor noticed that i was anxious and put me on a course of anti-depresents. ‘Then it appears what im going to say is normal, i was put on a waiting list for more than 12months to be referred to a Phyciatrist for a diagnoisis. ‘I was finally seen in the June of this year only to be told that i had PTSD and that i should approach Combat Stress or be put on another waiting list to see a Phycologist this could take upto another 6months. We asked if we could pay to jump ques but was advised that becuase my case wasnt life threating we would have to wait.

In the August of this year we went on holiday to Bulgaria with my partners family. ‘On the day of travel my wife noticed that i was very irritable and anxious, very black under the eyes, couldnt relax, was sweating more than ever (i put this down to the warm weather!) and was gnashing my teeth together (a habit my wife cant stand!). I had my tablet that morning so i thought i would be ok – the flight out to Bulgaria was horrendous for my wife and family (i didnt know as i was fast asleep!) I couldnt keep still but was sleeping all the way their, I head-butted my wife without knowing it and I was kicking the chair in front – generally couldnt keep still. When we landed I couldnt believe what Gemma or her parents was telling me what i was doing and for the first 2 days of the holiday i continuously slept only waking to have food etc. My wifes parents had noticed a change before but hadnt realised that he had got so bad.

Upon returning had a small disagreement with Gemma which turned into me flying into one of my ‘seeing red’ rages – I threw some jars at the Kitchen drawers which have marked them badly (the kitchen has only been in a year) and pulled the door joining to our living room so badly that the wall and the wood is damaged.

Our relationship has got so bad that Gemma said she was going to leave me, her parents came round to speak to me which was when i admitted i had a problem and that i would do anything to keep Gemma with me. ‘Gemma’s mum vowed to help me as she knew that i had a illness and this wasnt the normal me – she then spoke to an old friend who’s husband had been in the army and he had read/seen something on TV which prompted Gill to call Bob and ask for T2M’s help.

My wife emailed Bob asking for help and within a day Bob emailed back and said that he would help and I was lucky enough to gain a place on the October visit to France. ‘I was very skeptical and unsure as to what was going to happen to me to the point where i didnt sleep much leading upto the trip and was very emotional. ‘I have got to say after the first day i was feeling tones better and after a week i felt like the normal Craig again – the bad Craig had gone away for good!

Upon returning home, it has been alittle tough.. I have quit my job and am looking for something which I will enjoy doing, i am due to join my practioners course at the start of next week so that i give back to the charity what they have given to me and also looking to raise funds for this great charity at the start of 2010

Thanks to T2M – I owe my life to Bob & Erni – thanks for all your help lads couldnt have done it without ya and im looking forward to giving something back.