Ryan Thornton was just 19 when his older brother Lee was killed in Iraq. Gunner Lee Thornton, 22, was serving with the Royal Artillery when he was shot and fatally wounded by a sniper while out on patrol. His loss was devastating for the whole family. Ryan is one of the founding members of the SSAFA Forces Help Support Group for Bereaved Siblings. Ryan first came along to the Support Groups to support his mother through what was a traumatic time for her. It was only having seen how much the group helped her that Ryan recognised that he and others like him would benefit from something similar. He has worked hard over the last two years to make sure that anyone who has lost a sibling in service knows about the group. Sharing personal memories and experiences about the death of a family member is a challenge - Ryan has done this numerous times and plans to continue doing so in order to help professionals understand how to better support someone in his position. 'When my brother died in Iraq I didn't speak to anyone about it. But this group helped me build my confidence. We meet up and talk about what we have been through.' Ryan chairs the meetings and welcomes new members to make sure they feel part of the group. He's involved in all of the activities and is not afraid to step out of his comfort zone. He also volunteers to work with children with Additional Needs and Disabilities and found the time to run the London Marathon to raise money for the groups.