Private Matt Stringer
Matt Stringer (25) deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 with 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment (The Vikings). The battalion lost 9 soldiers on that tour including five of Matt’s friends. He deployed back to Helmand Province in late 2009 for another tough tour. In March 2010 the battalion deployed on a two day operation in relatively unknown territory. Late on the second day Matt was involved in an IED blast which killed two of his colleagues, injured his platoon commander and rendered Matt deaf as a consequence.
Matt was casevac’d out of Afghanistan in March 2010 and after prolonged medical treatment it was clear that his hearing would never return and that issues of balance would also make life difficult for him. The decision was made that Matt would be leaving the Army due to his injuries. Finding civilian vocational opportunities that replace a military career and its inherent characteristics of strength of association and pride is the biggest challenge faced by the Recovery Career Services and finding something for Matt, who has spent a year of his life in the harshest of conditions fighting the Taliban, was no exception.
Matt had expressed a desire to embark on an mechanic apprenticeship and was introduced to Mission Motorsport in March of 2013. He was bitten by the motorsports bug and subsequently had the chance to attend track days, courtesy of track day operator Goldtrack, and motorsports events at some of the most prestigious race circuits in the UK. In August 2013 Matt was discharged from service and, like many soldiers was still struggling to come to terms with his new life and was still lacking any real sense of direction.
Mission Motorsport had engaged Track Group, a Kimbolton based motorsports team, close to Matt’s home town and they agreed to take Matt on work placement for 2 months while ABF The Soldiers’ Charity provide funding to cover his living costs during the placement. The placement provided time for the owner to make a full assessment of Matt’s ability and they were looking for a new race truckie. The ABF were again approached for funding and on Feb 28th 2014 Matt passed his C+E license, enabling him drive Track Group’s articulated trucks in support of its racing operations.
Matt is now employed full time in his new job. The charities working together have opened doors for him that he wouldn’t have dreamed possible`:
Even in the short time I’ve been with Track Group I’ve done fantastic things. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have fallen on my feet doing a job I really love. I’ve got a lot to thank Mission Motorsport and the ABF for – Matt Stringer