IT'S a small gesture, but just slapping a sticker on your car can mean the world of difference.
Afghanistan veteran and graphic designer Simon Payne believes so, which is why he's created a series of "Thank you for your service” stickers for community members to express support for returned soldiers.
Since returning from the Middle East in 2011 and discharging from the armed forces two years later, Mr Payne said he felt the need to isolate himself and found it difficult to adjust to the slower pace of life.
It wasn't until later he realised this was post-traumatic stress disorder.
"With PTSD, you feel like you're on your own,” he said.
"You're on very high alert, always very way, so [after coming home] I felt as though I couldn't do enough in the day.”
The former cavalryman said he found his own little niche in designing personalised ribbon and medal stickers for other retired servicemen and women before he was approached with a different kind of request.
A Coast mother who had lost her son to PTSD asked Mr Payne if he could design something to make returned vets realise support was out there in the community.
"It's really hard to see a mother, and such a beautiful person, have such a loss,” he said.
"So we sat down and came up with an attractive one that would let the community say 'thanks'.”
The final result was a white and blue sticker, which has increasingly been seen on car windows and bumpers across the Coast as the trend has caught on.
"We're doing everything we can to get out and help, so it might just be a little sticker on a window but it does help.
"Vets don't want to be stopped or made a big deal of, it's just nice to be recognised for it.
"It's such a big morale boost, and it means a lot to [returned soldiers].”
Thank your for your service stickers can be picked up at Steve Dickson's office on Burnett Street, as well as various other locations across the Coast.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/wearegrateful/?fref=ts.
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