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A Small Dog Making A Big Difference To A Veteran With PTSD

Neil Marshall has struggled with the mental illness for years and finds it difficult to cope with crowds - but, now with the help of his new...

There were victories for the British Army men and women in the annual rugby clashes in Twickenham this weekend.

But off the pitch, there was a personal achievement for one spectator, a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Neil Marshall has struggled with the mental illness for years and finds it difficult to cope with crowds but, now with the help of his new dog, he has been able to take on new challenges.

One of those included attending the match at Twickenham, which saw more than 80,000 people attend.

"I was struggling a lot with a routine and not going out much - I become a bit of a recluse."

Neil Marshall served in Bosnia
Neil Marshall served in Bosnia

Despite the loud and claustrophobic venue, Mr Marshall sat through the entire match with his wife and four-legged companion.

After the match, Forces News caught up with Neil to see how he got on.

PTSD DOG

"Since the dog project came up, it's really opened my life up.

"I can take her to restaurants and busy areas, places like this where I haven't been for a while because I find them quite overwhelming."

Neil Marshall and Camilla Marshall

Neil said: "It was fantastic, I really enjoyed it.

"It's a massive breakthrough, a real step in the right direction - hopefully more games to come."

His wife, Camilla Marshall sat by his side during the match and was so proud that he was able to go. She said:

"We've often tried to get to events and we've had to turn back home.

"It means we can get out and about more as a family - it will be great, it really opens things up, so well done dog."

The newfound freedom now means Neil can start to focus on enjoying life with his family.

Neil Marshall in Bosnia
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