Lester Staples

Former Staff Sergeant Lester Staples served with The Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) in a career spanning twenty-two and a half years. During this time he completed tours in Cyprus, Iraq (Op TELIC 1 and 2) as well as being a member of the Corps Football team.

Thanks to the support of funding by Barclays, one of our corporate partners, and the advice of a Personnel Recovery Officer, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity was able to support Lester in attending a passive drug dog handlers’ course. Following his medical discharge from the Army in February 2016, this funding enabled Lester to harness his life-long love of dogs into setting out on a new career path.


 

“The help of The Soldiers’ Charity is setting me up for a new career… This course is going to get me on my feet with something new: hopefully a long and happy career, a second career.”


 

We met Lester and his dog, Beans, at Malpeet K9 Academy Ltd in Wales; a company that specialises in the use of operational dog teams as well as dog handler training. The duo were training in Bridgend where they were undertaking ‘line’ work- a highly pressurised exercise for Lester and Beans as they worked together to identify which individual in the line-up was carrying an illegal substance.

Lester Staples' dog, Beans
Lester is training with his dog, Beans, undertaking highly pressurised excercises as part of the programme offered by Malpeet K9 Academy

Without the assistance of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Lester would not have been able to afford the cost of attending the sixteen-day intensive course. The alternative for Lester would have been to resort to various means of funding by taking on several jobs that were unrelated to his chosen field- an unhappy prospect for a senior soldier of over twenty two years’ service. Lester is very grateful to The Soldiers’ Charity for the help he received towards attending the course. He explained: “The help of The Soldiers’ Charity is setting me up for a new career… This course is going to get me on my feet with something new: hopefully a long and happy career, a second career.”

Lester also had some words of advice for soldiers who are also facing the prospect of leaving the Army and embarking upon a new, civilian career:

“I think that a lot of soldiers believe that they’re not worthy. I believe we have always been of that mind-set: they think they’re not worthy of help. But you are. You’ve served your time and you have done something positive for your country, so a bit of payback is well deserved.”

 

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