Former soldier and friend release charity single

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A FORMER soldier and his friend have released a charity single to raise funds for ex-servicemen suffering from mental health problems.

Jonathon Counsell, 48, and Gary Tickner, 45, have released the single Take the Queen’s Shilling, with the help of Fired Up, who Gary plays bass guitar for.

The launch for the song took place on Saturday, October 22, at the Coach and Horses, in Arundel Road, Worthing.

Ivy Arch Studios recorded and produced the song for free, and it will be raising money for Combat Stress – a charity which helps ex-soldiers suffering from mental disorders as a result of combat.

Jonathon, of Salvington Road, served in the Army in the 1980s and has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since he left aged 19 and has been receiving counselling from Combat Stress, which is based in Leatherheard, Surrey, for the past eight years.

He wrote the lyrics for Take the Queen’s Shilling after asking Gary how he could get involved in the band.

He said: “The government isn’t looking after soldiers properly.

“Every day you hear stories of ex-soldiers not being looked after – soldiers missing arms and legs who are having to pay for their treatment.

“It’s not right.”

At the moment the song can be bought from firedupband.com and ivyarchstudios.com, but the pair are hopeful the song will soon be released through Tesco as well.

And Gary and Jonathon said the song will be given a promotional boost by Kenny Lynch, who is Jonathon’s biological father.

Gary, of Winterbourne Way, Worthing, said: “Soldiers risk their lives to protect us and this land.

“We want to raise money for Combat Stress so that soldiers are looked after properly.

“It’s creating awareness and a bit of money for them.”

Jonathon added: “This song is all about giving something back to the community.”