Matthew was in the Royal Armed Veterinary Core (RAVC) for 6 years.
"I originally joined the Household Cavalry and then re- allocated to the RAVC through my training. I have always loved dogs and it was something I was keen to pursue. After completing 12 weeks basic training with patrol dogs, I was posted to Germany. It was 6 months before the unit returned and then we went straight into pre-deployment training. I later moved on to working with armed explosive search dogs.
I always knew I would leave after 6 years and initially it seemed really easy. I left and went to university and enjoyed the social life. At first it was happy days, socialising, drinking and meeting people but then it started getting harder. It took me over a year to get a job. No-one would hire me. I tried everywhere - even McDonald's turned me down! I left the army completely fine but even so I struggled to get work.
I really enjoyed my armed forces days and I have nothing to complain about regarding my experience but it was a complete shock to suddenly struggle to get a job and have no money after being in a career for 6 years. You are used to having consistent money flow and then suddenly you have to fend for yourself. Even though I tried so hard to get a job it took me over a year. It does get to you and you find yourself in a lot of debt very quickly, which is what happened to me. If I could look back I probably would have just planned things out a bit better.
It is no coincidence that I was in the military, where there is so much structure, and then when I left I went straight to university where everything is still very much protected from real life, but then 'boom' you are in the real world. That is the hardest bit. A slow transition definitely helped but looking back I should have tried to ensure I had a job to go to straight away.
Military people crave brotherhood and I now get that from my music. I am very choosy about who I hang around with so it is not like you go and make friends with everyone. It has to be the right people.
I do a lot of weight lifting and stuff in the gym but my main release is through my music. The music scene I am into is hardcore heavy metal and moshing. That is my release. I have travelled the world with it now and have been to America twice this year already. The camaraderie and brotherhood that comes with that because it is the same people, the same circle that I crave. It just took a while to find it."