AFGHAN war veteran Sam Curtis and his wife Lisa had no idea that the Royal British Legion provided holidays for military families.
Mrs Curtis, 43, heard about ‘Poppy Breaks’ from an Army friend and applied to the Legion soon afterwards.
In 2011 the couple and their children enjoyed their first ever family holiday at Byng House in Southport which the Legion calls a ‘poppy break centre’.
They returned to Byng House in August 2012 just before Mr Curtis, 27, a member of the Royal Artillery, returned to Afghanistan for his third tour.
Mrs Curtis, originally from Batley but now living at Catterick Garrison, described Byng House as “like a five star hotel, so nice and luxurious”.
She said family holidays had not been possible in the past because of financial restraints and her husband’s Army commitments.
Her husband, who hails from Wakefield, was thrilled to get away for some family time before being deployed.
“Sam thought it was great. He went on holiday and then went to Afghanistan, taking with him a laptop full of photos. Time on holiday is very precious.”