Lincolnshire mothers explain how the Army Reserve is helping them fulfil their ambitions of having a military career…
PRIVATE Kerry Goldsmith (37) and Private Michelle Isles (34) originally met when working for the Post Office and soon realised they had similar interests.
Kerry is a single mum with three children, 14-year-old twins and a four-year-old, and Michelle has two children aged 11 and nine.
After dedicating time to their families, both ladies wanted to enjoy time for themselves, whilst making their children proud.
They joined 160 (Lincoln) Transport Squadron, passing out from basic soldiering skills training last year. They have supported each other through each stage of the process.
Kerry said: “I wanted a new challenge in my life, so joining the Army Reserve with Michelle has been great. It has been difficult at times, particularly getting to grips with the physical training. I’ve never been one to enjoy exercise but thanks to the training, I’ve improved my fitness and feel healthier for it.
“I wanted to make my kids proud and show them that I was serious about achieving something I had always dreamt of doing. I swapped my TV for a treadmill and I haven’t looked back. This year, I want to complete my HGV driving courses so I will be qualified to drive what I call ‘the big stuff’.
“My parents have been fantastic in helping with childcare. They have seen a big difference in me and have noticed that my confidence has developed and I seem more like the ‘old me’.”
Michelle previously spent three-and-a-half years as a full-time member of the RAF before having her children, but decided to leave the Forces to spend more time at home.
She explained: “I’ve been around the military for much of my adult life. My ex-husband served with the RAF so the children and I travelled around with him as his career developed. I always hoped that the time would come for me to re-join the military myself, so when I heard about the Army Reserve, I knew it sounded right up my street.”
“Kerry and I really don’t have a lot of spare time, but hopefully we have demonstrated that if you really want to do something, you can make it work. I feel like I have got my career back, and I still get to spend time with my children. The great thing about the Army Reserve is that you can fit it around your life, your family and your job.”