Rick MacGillivray on park bench   Credit: DMWS

A veteran who fell on hard times has been reunited with a former army mate – 27 years on.

Rick MacGillivray, a recovering alcoholic, became homeless after leaving the forces.​​​​

The former fusilier struggled to find work in his hometown of Salford.

When his dad died, Rick’s drinking got worse, and his problems spiralled into alcoholism, anxiety and depression.

He committed a minor crime, and, on a separate occasion, he was stabbed. His injury required 96 stitches.

Rick MacGillivray and 1RRF colleagues
Rick MacGillivray and 1RRF colleagues

In September of 2016, Rick began to sleep rough in Manchester, and Salford Probation service referred him to the Defence Medical Welfare Service.

They run a project for veterans who have had contact with the Criminal Justice Service; The Ex-Forces Action Network (E-FAN).

Within seven weeks, they had found Rick a house in Oldham – just in time for Christmas, and his 50th birthday.

Rick MacGillivray football team
1RRF footballers

After filming with Rick, the SSVC Forces Welfare Media Team launched an appeal to help Rick contact any friends from his army days.

He had lost his mementoes of service life after becoming homeless.

We had a fantastic response to Rick’s plea, and the DMWS arranged a reunion with Rick’s old friend, Daz.


Rick MacGillivray (r) reunited with Army friend Daz
Rick MacGillivray (r) reunited with Army friend Daz

Daz and Rick had not seen each other for 27 years but they enjoyed meeting up, and chatting about old times. Rick loved his time in the Army, so it was a chance to remember some happy moments.

You can see Rick’s story here