“I could never understand why you wanted to do Logistics in the Royal Navy Reserves when you were a scientist with a degree…” This was said to me by our Logistics Warrant Officer who i’d had the pleasure of personally working with and learning from on a past exercise when i decided to leave after 16years.
That was nearly 2 years ago and at the time i said i just enjoyed the difference in lifestyle that it provided and doing something worthwhile in my spare time.
But yesterday i looked at my CV again after 4 years in business for myself because an opportunity for further study has arisen and it finally dawned on me how much i had learnt in that time about self leadership and taking charge of others when situations arose. I am now the person who steps up when needed and have become a trusted confidante with sage advice when battling through the rough seas of everyday life.
This Warrant Officer was actually instrumental in my promotion to Leading Hand after he saw a Welfare presentation i did on a National Training weekend about my time in Afghanistan and he saw in me a passion to help others. I am now a proud Canine Massage Therapist, helping to relieve muscular pains from our 4 legged friends caused by injury or chronic conditions such as arthritis so that they can enjoy a better quality of life. Yes, like us veterans they live with pain every day but hide it so well from the outside world so as not to be seen as weak or a burden on others. So i will be forever grateful to that Warrant Officer who taught me more about myself than he will ever know and helped me stand tall today with my friends still by my side.
Hayley Hilton was a valued member of HMS Eaglet in Liverpool until 2017 and now runs her own business “Hands On Heart Clinical Canine Massage”, part of the Canine Massage Guild with a community of therapists nationwide. Check out her facebook page or www.HandsOnHeart.dog for more info.