Jon and Debbie Congreve kindly joined us in a socially distanced photoshoot in their garden in South Wales on a sunny day in August to proudly model our new range and to share their story.
Jon and Debbie have shared the highs and lows of Jon’s military career, which spanned 22 years. Having lived on base in Germany and Cyprus, with considerable active service, Jon left the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers as a Staff Sergeant, and Debbie had worked in a number of civilian roles supporting the military as they travelled the world, making friends and memories. “It’s not an easy life, being in the military, but we’ve had priceless experiences and we loved it.” says Debbie.
Jon’s service affected his physical and mental health, however. He has cervical disc disease, osteoarthritis, and bilateral tendinitis which affects his hips and back, as well as being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Jon came to Help for Heroes last year and was selected to take part in the Invictus Games, scheduled for 2021. Being part of a team again was nerve-wracking, but gave Jon renewed purpose.
“Most military people are proud and don’t like asking for help. It was quite scary to be honest, and I questioned myself - I have failed myself, have I failed my wife, but I’ve realised, that’s just life. Sometimes you need a helping hand, sometimes you don’t, and there’s no disgrace in taking a helping hand from anybody.”
To supporters and customers, Jon has one thing to say:
‘’The public should continue to support Help for Heroes because there is still a need for the support, the guidance and help is still needed, by buying these items you are supporting those who’ve served our country now and in the future’’. Jon Congreve, veteran