HUDDERSFIELD woman Rebecca Thewlis struggled to survive in the civilian world after leaving the Army.
But thanks to a national charity, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airman's Families' Association (SSAFA), the 23-year-old is back on her feet.
Rebecca, from Dalton, joined the Army after leaving school in 1999.
She was posted to Germany as part of the Royal Artillery, where her duties included driving a Warrior armoured personnel carrier.
But after six years of Army service, she longed for a more settled life - so she quit the forces and returned to Huddersfield.
But civilian life was tougher than Rebecca expected.
Because of a minor medical condition, she found it difficult to get a job.
This made it hard for her to find a permanent place to live, which in turn made it even tougher to get work.
Trapped in this vicious cycle, she heard about SSAFA and called on the charity's Huddersfield branch for help.
They gave her immediate financial assistance. Then, they contacted military and civilian charities who could provide more funding to help Rebecca.
Within weeks, SSAFA had arranged funding to buy a bed, fridge, carpets and a cooker and all the other basics Rebecca needed to start her new life.
She now has a council flat, a stable lifestyle and is looking to the future.
She said: "I wouldn't have known what to do if I had not been told about their help.
"I am very grateful to SSAFA's trained volunteers who did everything necessary - and more - to help me.
"Their services should not be considered as charity. Having served my country and paid my regimental subs, I was entitled to help if and when I needed it."
Rebecca's situation is not unique. SSAFA helps many ex-service personnel who have trouble adapting to civilian life.
Her story also proves that it is not just elderly war veterans who can call on SSAFA for help.
Anyone aged 17 to 90 who served in the Armed Forces or their dependants is eligible for financial help.
If you qualify and need help, contact SSAFA on 01484 425472 or visit their office at King's Head Buildings, Cloth Hall Street, Huddersfield, on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am to 11am.