Army life helped me change my ways

Jonathan Kirby who used to get into trouble over antisocial behaviour but now has turned his life around and had joined the army. (d14041142)
Jonathan Kirby who used to get into trouble over antisocial behaviour but now has turned his life around and had joined the army. (d14041142)

A TEENAGER who was on the verge of an Asbo has turned his life around after joining the Army.

Jonathan Kirby, 17, was constantly in trouble for disruptive behaviour near his home in Mallard Close, Heckmondwike.

But the former Spen Valley Sports College pupil decided to change his ways after he was given the chance to take part in an Army taster course.

He is now set to start his training at Catterick Garrison on May 1 – a year to the day after he took part in the course.

He said: “David Adams from Kirklees Council’s anti-social behaviour unit got me a place on the Yorkshire Warrior Army challenge day and said to see if I liked it.

“You stay there for a week and they show you what the Army is like and I really loved it.”

Jonathan said the course gave him the taste for the army and he decided to sign up.

He said: “I’m excited about it. I go to Catterick for six months’ training and then I get posted to my battalion in the Yorkshire Regiment. There are three battalions and they are all based in different places.”

He said staff on a military preparation course he took part in through the council had served in Iraq and had spoken about what combat was like.

He said: “I am a bit excited about it but nervous too. It’s a big thing but the training will help.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. You get a lot out of it and you get to travel the world. It seems like a really good career.”

His problems started after he moved to his new home. People complained about him making too much noise with friends, playing football outside and rowdiness on the Spen Valley Greenway.

But he said the course had made him want to turn his life around.

He said: “On the military preparation course they give you a real insight into what it’s like and what to expect. There were some things they didn’t show on TV and it makes you think.”

Support officer David Adams said: “Rather than being looked upon for his anti-social behaviour Jonathan should be applauded for turning his life around. He is living proof that supporting young people can and does make a difference to their lives.”