The Birth of Families4Veterans

Updated: Feb 10, 2019


Hi I'm Gary MacMillan and this is my story I'm sharing with you.

While living in Spain back in 2013, while working as a builder, the Spanish building industry went through a crisis. This left me down to a 2-3 day week, money was very tight as you can imagine.

On all of my days off I was constantly looking for a better paid job, away from Spain.

The more I searched not knowing if i would find a job and even if i did what's to say they would be any good?. Sooner or later the frustration finally hit Home and I suffered two Heart attacks, 10 days before my 45th birthday.

After spending 10 days in intensive care, I was finally allowed to go home. Luckily no damage was done and what ever it was, had caused a minor blockage.

Whilst at home on recovery and having lots of spare time now, I started again looking at the companys from previously, thinking there must be a way that you can search for in the country you're looking for with a star rating the same as you can get on other certain well known sites. This got me writing down notes, eventually I had enough to get a plan together. I found an online website builder and jumped right in, it cant be that hard, little did I know.

So after biting the bullet i gave in and started looking for a local website builder, finally after several very disappointing visits, with every single one way out of my price range I checked my notifications and had a message from one of the social media groups I had posted on.

It was from an Ex Royal Marine who lived 10 minutes away in the next village who I never even knew lived there. After our first initial meeting and discussion we both agreed on a price, where he would charge me only for the website build and not his time as a fello Brother in Arms.

I spent the next 18 months putting any spare time I had in trying to build up the network. Sadly this proved far too much for one man to handle, with no backing or funding and the move back to the UK I made the decision to close the WHO-DIRECTORY Down for good.

Now after 33 years I was finally living back in the UK and could start going to more reunions and military events. This led to me joining more and more veteran run groups on social media and as well as forming my own groups and pages i was invited to become admin on several more. Being admin you get to see a lot more than what the general public get to see and led to me seeing the same thing getting repeated over and over again. The breakthrough came about when I was asked to join a new Veteran political party that had just been formed as an idea, I jumped at this as it was something I could really get behind with the current state of affairs in the veteran community.

I eventually left the party due to egos getting in the way of what was needed and instead of listening to people who it was set up for, decided it was more important to get himself in the limelight and show how he good he was. The original admin team and myself after leaving, finally got back in touch and the 5 of us started to work as a team again, which went to show that no matter what service or rank we were we we could work together as a team as we had the interests of the veteran community at heart.( it did help that 3 out of the 5 were fellow Trogs, the ROYAL CORPS OF TRANSPORT - GOD'S CORPS for those that wondered what a trog is but that's another story.)

Over the next year we worked on getting a political party of our own started, making sure we had everything written down and learning from all the mistakes we had made before, by the time we had everything in place another veteran party was announced, now we had two to compete with!!.

Instead of giving up and quitting and it would be a shame to give up the amazing talent and team spirit we had built up, we decided to give something else a try. This led to me reopening my old WHO-Directory and the Families4Veterans part 1 started

We came up with a good plan on how to go forward, we decided on a theme and went to work. Around this time, i again received an out of the blue email from a local website builder who was just starting out straight from school, I thought what a great opportunity to give to a young lad who needs a break starting out to get him loads of work from the veteran community, if he did a good job. Sadly we were let down again and things faded into the background as everyone else started to get more involved with the things they had neglected over the last year. Around November Craig messaged me and asked what was happening about the website as he was still 100% behind the idea and was raring to go.

So I sat down with pen and paper again and came up with a plan from all my thoughts racing through my head, I used the original idea I came up with all those years ago and modifying it to our current needs, learning and correcting from all the mistakes previously made, I ended up building the website myself before somebody else came up with the idea Families4Veterans mark 2 evolved.

We have now been live a week, with some negative feedback which was expected but in general once people know what we are trying to achieve and have talked to us to find out about us they end up being part of the community that we are trying to reunite.

Although we have built the foundations for the community it's your input and backing that will decide if its camping site with us putting things where we want them or building a city with things where you want and what you want to see on there.

This was my story and hope I didn't bore you stupid, so thanks for taking your time to read this and I cant wait to read all your stories.

Please be kind this was my first ever blog and just to prove I'm just a normal veteran that makes mistakes just like the rest of you and it's ok to talk about it or just write everything down if you just need to tell someone but not quite ready to reach out, theres always one of us awake listening, why we came up with the directory, everything military under one roof, one community, built by veterans for veterans, serving forces, military families and ex British forces kids




Finally I would just like to thank Alan Pike for the designs and the amount of work he does for other veteran groups designing their logos, an outstanding artist.



© 2018 Families4Veterans