A former soldier has spoken of his joy after being nominated for two honours.
Peter Stewart, 60, of Sheddocksley, is in the running for two Scottish Veterans Awards relating to his achievements in business and sport.
Peter, who has started his own business, joined the Army in 1976 when he was just 16 and served as a tank crewman with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in Berlin during the Cold War when the Berlin Wall was still up.
The former military man spoke of his surprise and delight at being up for two awards.
He said: “I was shocked really when I saw what I’m up against.
“I’d be very proud to win the two awards – that’s for sure.
“I’d be thankful to the staff and people who trusted me and it would hopefully inspire other people to keep going when the chips are down.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
When he came out of the military in 1981 he didn’t struggle to adapt to civilian life as some service personnel do.
He said: “When I came out of the Army I was unemployed for seven days.
“I came back to Aberdeen. I was a lorry driver, a bus driver, a milkman, a salesman and I got a job in pest control.”
It is in pest control he has gone on to make his mark, having run a business in Aberdeen for more than 20 years .
He said: “We deal with everything – rats, mice, cockroaches, bed bugs, gulls, different types of birds, insects, wasps.
“Communication is important. I really enjoy it.”
He added: “It’s different. You don’t know what’s coming next. You’re not stuck in an office.”
And Peter even employs ex-servicemen at his business when he can.
He said: “A lot of them will be lost and think ‘what do I do next?’.
“You either get employed or you get self-employed.
“I see a lot of the guys suffer from mental fatigue.
“When you come out of the Army you’ve got to think out of the box.
“One of the things you’ve got to do is think ‘what can I do differently to get this job?’.”
But despite initial success in business it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the former soldier, who fell on hard times and had to rebuild from scratch.
He said: “Through unfortunate circumstances domestically I lost the business and moved to London.
“Basically I hadn’t lost everything but I ended up seven days away from being on the street.”
Peter lived in a temporary structure for a year, adding: “I got some money together and came back to Aberdeen and started again.”
And the veteran is also up for an award linked to his contribution to sport.
A few years ago he joined a cycling club but had issues with his health.
He said: “I collapsed one day, and collapsed another day, and then collapsed another day.
“I had a triple heart bypass. The surgeon said to me ‘you’re lucky you’re alive’.
“I vowed that I would get back on the bike.”
Peter now regularly cycles for 12-15 miles with CTC Grampian where he is a runs leader.
The award winners will be announced at Village Hotel Edinburgh on April 1.