After Lindsey sustained an injury during physical training in the Army, her future was uncertain. SSAFA helped with her travel costs to see her doctor.
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Lindsey Weir, 40, joined the Army when she was 22. Over the next 16 years she served with the Royal Logistic Corps in Bosnia, Iraq, Kosovo, the Falkland Islands and Germany.
Lindsey, from Glasgow, was a successful runner at school and always excelled at sports. When she joined the army she continued to excel and was even awarded Regimental Sports Colours for Cross Country. However, in 2002, Lindsey, sustained a groin injury during physical training and it soon became clear that the injury wasn’t going to heal on its own. She suffered from persistent pains in her groin and hip and was prescribed painkillers as well as some low-level physiotherapy, but nothing seemed to improve her condition. Then in 2009 an MR scan revealed that Lindsey had developed osteoarthritis in her back and hip and the following year she underwent keyhole surgery.
As a result, she was finally medically discharged from the Army in 2013 but before this there were months and months of uncertainty. Knowing she was going to be leaving the army, but without the documentation to prove it, Lindsey struggled for around two years, unsure of her future and powerless to plan ahead until her discharge was confirmed.
Lindsey, who was then a Lance Corporal, recalled: “It was a very difficult time in my life. I was referred by the Army to a hip specialist in Coventry, miles from my home, but without the resources or money to get there, it cost me a fortune. It was money I didn’t have at the time.
“I needed a job but because of my injury, there were many jobs that were out of the question. I worked in retail for a while, but the working day would end in tears after long nine hour shifts. I was in pain from standing for so long. When I went into the Army, I was healthy and strong. I came out permanently injured. I’m only 40 now, but eventually I will need a new hip.
“I didn’t know what benefits I could access to help me financially. I struggled with the paperwork as I had never had to do anything like that before. I knew I was going to get a medical and a war pension, but I had no idea how much that would be, which made it impossible to access benefits at the time. For a while I was living on £52 a week.”
This was when Lindsey called on SSAFA for help with travel costs to see her hip consultant in Coventry. Lindsey said: “Trying to get back in sync with civilian life was like walking through the looking glass. However, I’ve come out of this a stronger person, and I thank SSAFA for their support. I now have a job that I enjoy as a caregiver for a 92-year-old former Army Officer. I am very proud of my military career and my five medals, including one for long service and good conduct.”
Lindsey was supported by Glasgow Helping Heroes, a partnership between SSAFA and Glasgow City Council, which supports the military community in Glasgow.