I come from a military family so have a heartfelt interest in defence, security and veterans. After a 25-year career in the law, culminating in legal operations, I decided to embark on a veteran-specific PhD and move into academic. I also spent five years working with SSAFA, to help wounded, injured and sick veterans transition to civilian life upon medical discharge. During my PhD I specialised in research with the Northern Irish veteran community in the context of trauma, mental health, alcohol and help-seeking. NI veterans are considered ‘hidden’ and face unique challenges. It is exciting to see new advances in research to support hidden populations, particularly surrounding social prescribing and the use of technology.