AN AFGHANISTAN veteran who “lost everything” when he left the army is walking the coast of Britain in a bid to turn his life around.

Sam Doyle, 30, passed through the Helensburgh area last week.

Sam left the forces in 2009 and has been suffering with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ever since.

He set off on his 7,700 mile trek in aid of PTSD Resolution as a last chance to turn his life around.

Sam left Blackpool on May 29, aiming to raise money for sufferers of PTSD and awareness about the condition, and arrived in Helensburgh on Wednesday, October 4, after four months on the road to a warm welcome – from former armed forces champion turned politician Maurice Corry.

Sam said that after leaving the army his life fell apart – losing his home, his job and his girlfriend.

But rather than begging on the streets, he laced up his boots, and decided to get up and walk.

He said: “It wasn’t a decision, it was my last chance. I had nothing left apart from a backpack and a sleeping bag.”

He told the Advertiser: “The whole experience has been totally different to what I thought it’d be and if it wasn’t for the people I’d probably have given up.

“There have been people waiting for me in every town, having seen my social media posts. Facebook and my blog have been my fundamental lifeline so far.

“MSP Maurice Corry stopped me to tell me I had his full support and even invited me to parliament when I get to Edinburgh.

“Councillor Barbara Morgan, [the armed forces and veteran champion for Argyll and Bute Council] also met me for a chat, which was nice.”

Both Mr Corry and Councillor Morgan were delighted to meet who they described as an “inspirational” man.

Cllr Morgan said: “I was very humbled and moved by Sam, he has served us and our country and now is walking supporting our veterans. He is truly a good man with a great heart, I felt passion from him for what he is doing.”

Mr Corry said: “I fully support this and wish Sam the very best for the remainder of his journey. I hope he will visit me in the Scottish Parliament to promote his cause.

“Veterans are not provided with adequate support when they return from service and enter civilian life, this is something I am focussed and committed to help change. I plan to keep in contact with Sam and ensure that real life experiences such as his are taken into account to create a better support network for veterans in the future.”

Sam was joined by his “travelling companion and best friend”, Jess the lurcher, whom he rescued in Irvine after speaking to a barmaid whose dog didn’t get on with her boyfriends.

Sam said: “I’d been thinking about getting a dog but rescue centres wanted to check my home was suitable before letting me rescue – so this was good timing for both me and Jess.

“Jess has given me something to focus on. Before, I would lie in bed and get up when I felt like it, but now she relies on me and I rely on her.

“We make a good wee team. I catch fish and she catches meat.”

In the 600 miles covered so far, Sam has suffered trench foot four times, gone through three pairs of boots, and is expected to use another 35 pairs over the course of his three-year odyssey.

But he isn’t fazed by the task ahead.

He explained: “I have been homeless for five years. Time doesn’t worry me. I just take each day as it comes.”

Sam believes he has managed to educate people about PTSD and has managed to raise more than £4,000 in donations.

He said: “I get a euphoric feeling once I have spoken to someone and told them my story. You can tell they understand afterwards.

“I am so grateful for the welcome I have had.

"I set out with no anticipation of the support I would have or the amount I would raise but I am delighted with both.”

Sam has suffered trench foot four times already and has made his way through three pairs of boots.

To follow his journey visit or to donate visit