Bombed out in his job hunt
BARRY Stevens has served our country for more than 22 years, detonating bombs in war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.
But he is facing his hardest challenge yet: finding a job.
The 53-year-old explosive ordinance disposal technician, who lives at Beerwah, has had a string of bad luck that has depleted his finances.
But he fears his qualifications and experience have made him unemployable in his country.
He said he was not the only ex-serviceman who struggled to find work in the real world. "I have friends who have done years in the army.
"They come out with volumes in qualifications and experience. One of them is delivering books for a city council," he said.
"Lots of civilians seem threatened by ex-military personnel." It's also not so easy for
someone who has dedicated the best part of his life to "blowing up things" to find a "grown-up job".
"There are not many jobs for bomb disposals," he said.
He lost vast sums of money he saved overseas in a divorce and then he put treasures and memorabilia in a shipping container. It was broken into three weeks ago.
"I lost everything; a lot of military certificates and souvenirs from the 37 countries around the world I worked in," he said.
Mr Stevens gets a military disability pension, but "that is enough to pay for petrol".
He hopes to find work in the mining industry, which might have some use for his skills in exploding things.
But he has also turned his experience into a novel a publisher couldn't wait to print. More details on Mr Stevens' book will follow in the Daily.