After her husband took his own life, the Legion stepped in to support Chantelle and her young family.
Together since they were 16 years old, Chantelle married her husband Ryan in 1998 and they became parents to two girls, Rosie and Daisy. Ever since she had known Ryan he had been involved in the Territorial Army (TA) and loved serving in the military, following in his brother’s and father’s footsteps.
Ryan was unable to join the Army full time due to being deaf in one ear yet he was proud to serve in the TA and progressed his career in medicine as an operating department practitioner, eventually working at the local hospital.
In 2006 Ryan completed a six-month tour of Afghanistan, but when he returned home he struggled and was eventually diagnosed with PTSD.
“He had seen awful things out there as a medic and to protect me he refused to talk about what had happened or how it had affected him,” explains Chantelle.
“Over the next couple of years we carried on, but small things would put Ryan on edge, with bonfire night noise and Remembrance time being particularly difficult.
“Ryan and I just learnt to cope with his diagnosis and he was put on anti-depressants by his doctor. However, there was no support after his tour and I think he felt alone as a reservist – he went out an individual and came back as an individual.”