A FORMER soldier who served on the frontline is setting up a social group for the ex-military people of Eastbourne.
Ben Mead, 32, returned home from Afghanistan in February and is now looking to set up a group for like-minded people to socialise, support each other and share experiences.
Ben came back home to Eastbourne after the helicopter he was flying in was nearly taken down. He spent nine years in the Army and saw action in Iraq in 2003 and Kosovo in 2006.
Ben said, “It wasn’t easy being on the frontline but it has made me a stronger person but I know how hard it is to settle in to civilian life.
“I also know from personal experience that it is so hard to talk and relate to people. Often they just don’t understand the sense of humour.
“It can make people feel very isolated.”
Ben says he came up with the idea of creating a new social group while out in Afghanistan and found out there were many people of varying ages in and around Eastbourne who had served in conflicts.
Ben added, “I’m not trying to take people away from military associations in Eastbourne. If anything I am trying to promote them and work with them.
“I know they struggle and some have even closed down and I think that may be because people associate it with older members. I am saying go to the associations and come to this social group too.”
Ben says he had lined up a venue at the Naval Club in Beach Road and is looking forward to the first monthly meet-up later in September, depending on interest. For more information email Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org.