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Last Updated: Monday, 18 July, 2005, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Surviving on 'Civvy Street'
Brian Moran
It took Brian Moran 30 years to find his way on Civvy Street

Brian Moran joined the Royal Marine Commandos in 1974, and served in Northern Ireland. It was his experiences there that lead to a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - over 30 years on.

Brian found himself in Belfast during the height of unrest in the province. With an unseen and unknown civilian enemy, a fear of attack on street patrol and a continuous need for surveillance - days were spent on edge. He says dangerous incidents and high stress were countered off-duty by heavy drinking.

Within the culture of the Marines- whose advertisements proclaimed the commandos were "tough but proud of it"- he was unable to talk about his experiences.

After leaving the Royal Marines, Brian continued to drink heavily. He says he couldn't tolerate authority, regularly changed jobs got into fights. Out of a job, he eventually became homeless.

First he slept rough in the military town of Colchester where he began selling the Big Issue, and ended up in London. This is where the survivalist skills he learned in the military came to use- sleeping on Civvy Street.

Brian's fortunes changed while volunteering at the Royal British Legion where a member of staff identified that he had unresolved problems from his years in the Marines. They suggested that he contact Combat Stress - the ex-Service mental welfare charity - and it was there that Brian was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Recently Brian has tried to get a war pension - which is awarded upon proof of mental injury while in service.

Brian now lives in a flat at the Oswald Stoll Foundation - a charity for disabled ex-Service men and women in Fulham, London. He was awarded his war pension in May 2005. This gives him access to a treatment programme at Combat Stress, paid for by the Ministry of Defence.



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