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SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is the oldest national military charity in the UK.

We have been providing vital support for our troops, veterans and their families for over 130 years.

While attention is often focused on the problems faced by older, retired veterans, SSAFA published an extensive research report on July 19 into the issues faced by younger, working age veterans.

Our research identified a group of veterans aged 16-64 who are living in pretty desperate circumstances, often through no fault of their own.

Although most transition well, these men and women are not fulfilling their potential in civilian life and their plight is too easily ignored.

Something that comes across loud and clear from our report is that many of the veterans helped by SSAFA were, for a long time after leaving the armed forces, too proud to ask for help.

SSAFA understands that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen are resilient characters.

While serving our country they have been trained to be the fittest, most resilient versions of themselves.

If any readers are in need of support, and they are veterans or currently serving members of the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force – or indeed their family members, please may I take this opportunity to encourage them to contact our confidential “forcesline”, which is free of the chain of command, on 0800 731 4880.

They have had our backs and now it is time for us to have theirs.

To read our report findings in full, readers can visit www.ssafa.org.uk.

Air Vice-Marshal David Murray,

Chief executive,

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity,

C/o St Dunstan’s Hill,

London.