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Music inspires former soldier
MUSIC is helping a former soldier overcome the effects of combat stress.
Rob Hardie, from Ludgershall, was sent home from Iraq in 2004 on a medical evacuation flight.
His father-in-law Ian Lawes suggested learning to play the drums as a release for his pent-up emotions and he’s not looked back since.
With help from Veterans in Action, based at Redenham, near Andover, Mr Hardie has learned guitar and is about to perform in his first live gig.
He will be singing two of his own songs, one of which is about his experience in Iraq, as support act to The Animals and Friends, who are currently on the Ultimate Rhythm and Blues tour celebrating 50 years of the genre in the UK charts.
Mr Hardie’s new band, Druid, which includes Mr Lawes, his nephew Christopher, and Mike Scott, will be performing at The George in Amesbury on Saturday alongside The Animals as they take a night off from the tour.
“The Animals were in Salisbury as part of their national tour and Ian and I went along to see them,” said Mr Hardie.
“I met pop legend Dave Berry and he was happy to sit down and give me some great advice about structuring my performance even though I had never met him before.
“Music is such a friendly business and Ian was right to encourage me take it up. It has allowed me to address my issues, start a successful business, enjoy time with my wife and five children again and see life after the army as a great opportunity.
“And now, after all the nightmares, I have a dream gig alongside one of the biggest bands in British pop history. I should be stressed about it - but everyone, especially Veterans in Action, have taught me how to deal with it.”
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