Brian ONeill




In this blog, Brian O’Neill tells us how the support of his friends and family helped him greatly as he left a long career in the Armed Forces.

How important was the support of your family/friends when you left the Armed Forces? 

Invaluable, and without that support I dread to think what may have happened.  I was let down personally at a critical time in my transition and that made it even more difficult.

My family and friends recognised this and rallied.  Loyalty and support go hand in hand.

My family and friends were quite simply exceptional and there for me when I needed them the most. It was so uplifting to have close friends and family who really cared.

Who is the person that you most admire in your family/friendship group? 

Probably the most difficult question I have EVER answered! I admire my family and friends and if I had to pick one stand out, it would be, my Mother. In the face of adversity, she showed defiance.  She almost single-handedly raised four children on her own whilst working.

I believe I get my work ethic from my Mother and for that, I thank her, wholeheartedly.

How are they supporting you as you train for the Walk of Oman?

The support comes in different forms, I have a friend who is ex-military and would swap places with me in a heartbeat. This instills a feeling of pride within me because I am getting to represent fellow veterans and that feeling is quite humbling.

Have you managed to train for the expedition during lockdown? If so, has it helped with your mental health and well-being?

I have been lucky enough to be able to train during lockdown and 100% yes it has helped with my mental health and well-being.  The benefits of being outdoors are immeasurable and a walk a day works wonders for the mood.

Walking 400km across the desert is an incredible challenge. Are you nervous about the challenge?

400kms across the desert sounds like a long way, however, resilience will prevail.  I am more apprehensive than nervous and definitely excited.

My biggest fear is injury, this will or should resonate with many others, I am going by the mantra of, “train hard, trek easy”.