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After leaving the Military on completion the full 22 years I ran into some issues which then prompted me to form this group called The Shield. (Prior to this I had completed 3 years in the Infantry – Fiji Military Forces).

I managed to get help with its initial set up from some very well-connected and like minded people who I knew from the Army who had crossed into civilian life.

It was formally started on 08 July 2012 in York however the concept came to me at Allerthorpe Lake, near Pocklington when walking the dog with my wife Elizabeth. This process has been influenced heavily by my family   who have been through all the tough times as we have strived to get things moving forward and on track.

Since then it has just been building away slowly but surely and, there have been other similar organizations who have gone onto bigger and brighter things and others who haven’t unfortunately.

The journey has not been easy and it is still continuing its course with quite a few people with similar backgrounds getting involved too.

Through the networking, signposting, supporting and generally just being a sounding board and listening post – there have been a relatively fair few amount of people who have gained employment thanks to it. It is not a one stop shop but a bridge from the relative safety of the Military to the uncertainty of civilian life.

This is not a commercial operation as such but more of a vehicle that is being driven and for Ex-Military people and their dependants to see if it too can assist them on their journey.

We sincerely hope that those who do benefit from it will see it as a way of a Pay it forward system so that not only do they utilise what it can provide but also put back in somewhere along the line, as we all need help sometimes.

We hope that it will continue to provide help to those who need it and ensure that the bridge gets crossed to whatever prospects may be on the other side.

There are a multitude of people I must thank but first and foremost my family – My wife and daughters whom without their help this project would have been ditched a long time ago. Mum and Dad in Fiji, Sister Litia, brothers Jon and Rob, all of us served in Her Majesty’s Forces – British Army totalling 74 years service. Then my dear Uncle Noa Lash Larua Ex 2 Para/ RCT 61 – 86 (RIP) who was always there in the early days giving support who unfortunately passed from cancer last year but never forgotten. Also to my extended family and you know who you are always supporting and offering advice.

Then to those friends who helped shine the light in the beginning, and up until now in no particular order: Stu A, Nige H,  Mark & Nathalie, Pete L, Pete G, Shaun D, Justin M, Duncan W, Dave D, Darren H, Gary R, Stu P, Paul Y, Frank V, Mick M, Mark A and many many others too many to mention. Dave S for kindly sponsoring this through his business as a bona fide platform. Also to my Fijian friends I served with Mark F, Dovi, Kiniviliame K and many others too. There are those organisations too who have been assisting us to get moving Adrian F and Bud Hull, JC and Ex Mil Recruitment, Lee H providing support for those with PTSD S O S and other organisations that we look to network and signpost to including Mary R and the 212 Ex British Army Family in Fiji.

We look forward to continuing the journey on together.

Charlie Kama


Forces Shield


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