An ex-Royal Marine from Bearsden is setting up a property maintenance business to provide jobs for ex-military men and women.
Ken Cowan (41), was with the Royal Marines for 12 years, from the age of 23 to 35, and served on tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He left the military after injury prevented his return to the frontline.
Ken broke his ankle, snapped every ligament and suffered several micro fractures during a training exercise in Wales in 2003 and was discharged five years later.
He had difficulty adjusting to civilian life with just three months for the transition. Suddenly he was forced to leave his family (The Marines) and find a new job.
He realised that while there are plenty of re-training opportunities for ex-military personnel it’s much harder to find a job and that’s what gave him the idea for this business.
Ken, who now has a full-time job in financial services, has spent over two years planning “ex mil trades” in his spare time. It will offer a multi skilled property maintenance and handyman service.
He said: “When you leave the forces you can suffer in varying degrees. It’s a very different world out here from behind the wire.
“Also, the severity of the conflicts that our most recent servicemen and women have endured makes it hard for them to talk about their experience with people outside the service community.
“It’s easier to work with colleagues that have shared your experiences and you can relate to. It helps you work through issues instead of being put in an alien environment where you feel it’s best to keep quiet.
“Ex Mil Trades will hopefully provide emotional support. It gives veterans that first step into civilian life, allowing them to bring their fresh skills, honesty, integrity and a ‘can do’ attitude to the job.”
Ken, who suffered from adjustment disorder, added: “When I left the Marines I felt pretty flat. I want to provide enduring support and employment for the ranks as I think we need to do more for our service leavers. There are lots of well-meaning charities out there, but service leavers don’t want handouts - just the chance to prove themselves.”
He hopes the business will go live at the end of March initially working with Erskine. Service leavers with a trade can email firstname.lastname@example.org