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South Shields ex-soldier set for 1,000-mile hike for veterans charity

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A former soldier has opened up about his mental health struggles - as he faces one of his biggest challenges to date.

Kev Carr says he is lucky to be alive after depression and difficulty adapting to civilian life following time in the Army led to him attempting to take his own life.

The 35-year-old, from South Shields, was found by friends and taken to hospital, where a doctor who had military knowledge referred him to a specialist charity helping veterans.

It led to him being given a place at The Beacon, an Armed Veterans Centre in North Yorkshire, where he is receiving support after being diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

The father-of-three was a private in the Royal Logistics Corps and served in Iraq in 2003, where he was detached to the Queens Dragoon Guards.

Serving on the frontline, he would supply ammunition and pick up prisoners while constantly being under attack from the enemy.

Being at the Beacon has saved my life.

Kev Carr

Now, Mr Carr is now hoping his story will raise money and awareness surrounding mental health issues among veterans as he embarks on a 1,000-mile hike across America for charity Walking With The Wounded.

He will leave for the States tomorrow - along with two other British and three American veterans as they walk from various points between Los Angeles and New York.

The trek is being backed by Walking With The Wounded patron Prince Harry.

They are due to end the event at the former World Trade Centre site in September.

Mr Carr said: “When I came out of the Army, I was constantly in and out of jobs and really struggled.

“I turned to drink and my depression became worse. My mam passed away in December and I tried to take my own life.

“My friends found me and I was taken to hospital. A doctor, who I think had been in the Territorial Army, signposted me towards the help I needed.

“Being at The Beacon has saved my life. I have got my own support worker. They are helping me to live again.”

To gain his place within the walking team, Mr Carr had to undergo a strict selection process and interview.

He added: “I have mixed emotions about the walk, as this is one of the biggest things I have ever done and it means a lot to me.”

Walking With The Wounded was created in 2010 and aims to support vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society, sustain their independence and gain employment.

For more information visit or to donate visit walkingwiththewounded.org.uk