Founder and Chief Operations Officer of Veterans In Action
Billy MacLeod joined the Royal Engineers Junior Leaders Regiment as the youngest recruit at the age of 16 and 5 days in June 1977 and trained as a Combat Engineer, Amphibious Engineer and a Bricklayer and served on many tours around the world as well as on operations. Billy received an injury that through time got gradually worse and hampered his career which sadly ended too early due to his injuries.
On leaving the services Billy then went onto the oil rigs as a Cementing Engineer which suited him as it was the same atmosphere as being in the Army with lots of hard work and banter. Again the injury raised its head and for safety reasons Billy had to leave another job that he enjoyed.
This led to a few un-fulfilling jobs driving trucks and being very solitary and he found difficulty in motivating himself and knew something was missing. He then started a taxi company and ran this for many years hoping he could recapture the camaraderie he had in the services. Again there was no real challenge and he never found what he was searching for, which was to be a part of a team, so became disillusioned. After a major car accident, he reassessed what he was doing with his life and decided to give himself a real kick start.
He understood what he had missed on leaving the services and felt that if he had felt this way then others would be feeling the same. He was happier working within a team of like-minded people which was the inspiration behind Veterans In Action.
Billy has now led many long distance walks across Britain totalling a distance of 12,600 miles with over 500 veterans taking part who have had a diagnosis of PTSD.
After a total of 14 operations on his legs and 3 on his arms, Billy is the planner behind the VIA events and although he still takes part on the expeditions, he is limited in what he can do physically, but still plays an active part and leads all events and expeditions.
Billy has developed VIA’s ALIVE Program the unique three step process that is the basis of what Veterans In Action use to help veterans to discover a sense of achievement and aiding them to rebuild their confidence, self-esteem and self-belief.