A Banbury man and former army rifleman has overcome the horrors of war, a life-changing injury, PTSD and drug and alcohol abuse to become a published book author.
Gary Green is not your typical 28-year-old, in fact he has experienced more ups and catastrophic lows than most of us have to cope with in a lifetime.
His inspirational story begins in 2007 when he decided to join the army not knowing that it would lead to both his destruction and ultimate reinvention.
Gary said: “I was blown up in Afghanistan in 2009. There were two IEDs in the compound wall which left me blind in my right eye which meant I couldn’t fire a rifle anymore.”
Gary spent another year in the army before being medically discharged in August 2010.
Gary returned to Banbury trained in the theatre of war but with no direction and harbouring deep resentments.
Gary said: “I started having anger issues when I got home and I didn’t realise really what was happening.
“There’s an analogy I use, if you have an attack dog that’s trained to kill and for whatever reason it can no longer be an attack dog you wouldn’t then go and place it back into a family home.”
In 2011 Gary was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the subsequent two years saw Gary hit rock bottom.
Gary said: “The whole of those two years I was off my face on drugs. I’d punch holes in the wall, I was verbally abusive to my family, I was violent when I was drinking.”
In 2013 Gary turned his life around one word at a time and started writing his warts and all book on army life and his subsequent struggles.
Gary said: “For whatever reason I felt disgusted in myself, I wanted to change and I started to write my book then.
“I started to write about how I felt and everyone who read it said it was amazing you should carry on, so I did.”
Those first words marked a turning point for Gary and since then he has run the London Marathon for charity, he has become a board member and trustee of Deptherapy an injured soldier charity, gave a speech to 250 about PTSD, gained employment and has risen to team leader and appeared on the BBC Three documentary Amazing Humans.
During all that he also wrote Bombs for Breakfast which is in the final stages of editing and the time has allowed Gary to reflect.
Gary said: “I would do it all again in a heartbeat. If I hadn’t joined the army I wouldn’t have had the confidence to be a team leader, and I wouldn’t be in a position to help people, now I’m in a position to help other soldiers and get them the help they need. ”
Bombs for Breakfast is scheduled for release in March. To read excerpts from the book and keep up to date with release details follow Gary’s book on Facebook.