A SOLDIER blown up by the Taliban and the Americans at the same time has reinvented his life by turning his life-long hobby into a business.
Help for Heroes bought Martyn Cowd an expensive camera so he could make his love of photography a full-time job after he was medically discharged from the Army.
Martyn was seriously injured in Afghanistan when an insurgent rocket exploded beside him and his base was accidently taken out by a US Apache helicopter.
“I was determined not to sit around and feel sorry for myself,” said Martin, 25, from Norton Fitzwarren.
“I suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, but told myself, ‘I’m going to do something with my life’ and as I’d always enjoyed taking photos, I decided to set up my own business.
“My wife bought me a photographic experience and Help for Heroes supplied a digital single lens camera.
“Things are going well, with regular wedding bookings and portrait commissions – I’m loving it.”
Martyn and his wife, Kayleigh, are expecting their third child in March.
It is a far cry from December 2009, when he was fighting the Taliban in Helmand Province with colleagues from the 3rd Battalion The Rifles.
“It was at night and we were on a rooftop surrounded by insurgents,” he said.
“We were returning fire and called in air support. Due to miscommunication, an American Apache helicopter took out our base just as a Taliban rocket exploded beside me.
“It was a shock. I was like, ‘Ow, what’s this?’ and spitting out lots of blood.
“I tried to get off the roof, but tumbled down and couldn’t walk.
“I was picked up and put on a stretcher, taken by helicopter to Camp Bastion and flown home just before Christmas.
Martyn’s hands were “smashed up”, he suffered scarring, loss of manouverability to his hip and leg, tendon and muscle damage in his legs and he also lost a toe.
“I was discharged in 2012 – although it was then end of my military career, another door opened and I had the chance to embrace something I’d always had a passion for,” said Martyn.