Joining the military in his late 20’s Matt Campbell completed his RAAC initial employment training at Puckapunyal, Victoria and was then posted up to Darwin to become a crew member of a Main Battle Tank. Being a bush kid and having extensive experience with a wide range of heavy vehicles he found life in a tank quite easy and enjoyable. Who wouldn’t enjoy throwing 62 tonnes of steel around through the bush. Rising from being a driver to being trained as a gunner and the eventual goal of commanding a tank, all roles well suited to a hard working career soldier. He spent about 7 years at 1st Armoured Regiment, C SQN before a posting to the Australian Federation Guard in Canberra.
Eventually being trained on the Army’s 8 wheeled armoured vehicle the ASLAV as well as the Bushmaster, another lightly armoured vehicle in the army’s fleet, he the was posted to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment as a ASLAV crew commander. Deploying as such in 2009/2010 to Afghanistan as part of OP SLIPPER. During the deployment he filled the role as a mounted patrol 2IC as well as commanding his own ASLAV gun car. Upon returning to Australia he then was posted down to sunny Townsville to B SQN 3/4th Cavalry regiment as a troop corporal. Deploying again to Afghanistan this time as a section commander of 4 bushmasters. This trip seen Matt injured and medically evacuated back to Australia.
Struggling with injuries and the fact his section was still overseas and in harm’s way daily Matt started to not cope with everyday things that happen. Having another one of his crew commanders also badly injured and evacuated back to Aus and the loss of a friend through an insider attack seen Matt sink further and further into intolerance and anger. Eventually speaking to a medical professional about his dramas, Matt was diagnosed with PTSD and started treatment for it. One of the things Matt was prescribed was to attend a local based and run PTSD course run through the Mater Hospital. Throughout the 8 week course he become to understand and work hard at dealing with the demons. With the help of his wife and the course facilitators he developed a bond and belonging. Having such a profound effect on Matt he then wanted to give back as much as he can to the course that saved him. Starting his volunteer work about 6 months after completing the course himself. Matt Campbell started the idea of Hounds 4 Healing during this time. Having been given a small ball of fluff, a border collie puppy as a gift shortly after getting back to Australia. He seen the bond between man and dog first hand, through the training of his own dog. Bobby, his border collie became his lighthouse in the storm of emotions generated with everyday life and was his shadow, knowing when he was struggling and having a bad day. Always ready with a cuddle she has taught herself some of the skills associated with an assistance dog.
Not having anything up here in Townsville, he approached other veterans with the idea and was encouraged to run with it. Hounds 4 Healing was born.