Home sweet home in Cockenzie for Army veteran Sam and her companion dog Keria

An Army veteran has been reunited with her dog after receiving the keys to a new home.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 4:45 pm
Home sweet home for Afghanistan war veteran Sam McGeachie and her companion dog Keria

Sam McGeachie, who served in Afghanistan, is one of the new tenants of a new £1m East Lothian Council housing development for armed forces personnel.

She said that the tenancy meant she would be able to live with her companion dog Keria, who had had to stay with her parents while she waited for the flat.

Sam is one of a group of veterans who will move into six flats at Osborne Terrace, Cockenzie, after East Lothian Council worked with Veterans Housing Scotland (VHS) to find its tenants.

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The flats, three of which have been built with wheelchair access, were built on the former council groundcare depot by Gordon Guthrie Contracts Ltd.

The council has signed up to an Armed Forces Covenant, which has a working group to bring together key partners to create policies and practices that will support armed forces personnel (serving and retired) and their families.

Sam joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in 2009 and trained as a combat medical technician, serving with 2 Medical Regiment, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and 3rd Battalion The Rifles.

She was based in Germany for five years and saw operational service in Afghanistan.

Sam said: “I am so grateful to both Veterans Housing Scotland and East Lothian Council for giving me this opportunity

“I am looking forward to having Keria live with me again. She is more than a dog to me and this is so much more than a new home, it is a new start.

“Thank you to everyone concerned.”

Councillor Jim Goodfellow, the council’s spokesperson for housing and armed forces champion, said: “I am delighted that Sam and our other new tenants are now able to move into their new homes and I am sure they will enjoy being part of the close-knit Cockenzie community.

“This development is an example of what we can achieve by working in partnership to meet the needs of Armed Forces personnel, particularly those with specific needs.”

Group Captain Bob Kemp, chairman of VHS added: “We are grateful to East Lothian Council for their support and for helping us provide veterans who are disabled with homes in a place of their choice that meets their requirements.”

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