A mum-of-two army veteran who served in Afghanistan has been made the Poppy Appeal community fundraiser for Sussex.
Lisa Evans, 34, who met her husband Guy during service, lives with their children Alfie, aged four, and Fred, two, in Crawley Down.
Lisa left the armed forces in January 2011 to get married and start a family.
During her 10-year service she was a movement controller, helping to move troops and equipment around the world.
Lisa was sent to Iraq at the age of 18. She said: “I deployed in 2003 and had my 19th birthday four or five months into the deployment.
“When you are that young you don’t really consider consequences.
“You don’t think of family members back at home worrying about you. Of course it has an affect on them.
“I was very young and that was the first time I carried my weapon on a street.
“It was also the first time I saw and carried a body bag. It was a strange time.”
She started her military career in Germany with 24 Regiment. She moved to Belgium with UK Movement and Liaison Service, and finished at 29 Regiment RLC in Cirencester.
She served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Belgium, Germany, Kenya, USA, Qatar and Kuwait.
She said “I met my Guy in Qatar in 2007 when we were both serving.
“I was based on the airfield helping to get things in and out, whether it be equipment or the repatriation of bodies, or people going off on R&R.
“Guy was responsible for moving people or freight around internally so our roles were linked. We worked very closely.
“We served together again in Afghanistan in 2008. He would spend four weeks at a time in and around Afghan. He did this on three or four occasions during my seven month tour in 2008.
“We also served together in Kuwait and in Bahrain. We just seemed to be drawn together.”
In Afghanistan one of the roles of Lisa and RAF servicemen Guy was the repatriation of injured or dead servicemen or women.
Lisa’s grandfathers served in the RAF and navy during the Second World War.
Her nan’s first husband died in the Second World War serving with the RAF as a pilot.
Her great grandfather served in the First World War in the 2/5th Gloucestershire Regiment on the western front.
He survived the war.