A young, callow soldier, uniform hanging off his adolescent frame, is staring into the camera with a gaze that combines confidence and nervousness at the same time. The photograph, taken in a muddy and remote Afghan compound in 2010, is of John Bryant. At the time he was 18 and Britain's youngest serving frontline serviceman in Afghanistan.
Before the last election David Cameron promised to enshrine in law a new Armed Forces Covenant that would ensure that "if we are asking our armed forces to do dangerous jobs in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, we are doing all we can for them in return."
But a year into the Covenant, army charities complain that in practice it is little more than political rhetoric.
It is, they say, doing nothing to help soldiers like Mr Bryant – whose problems, although often self-inflicted, are nonetheless acute.
"Once you've done your job in the army – that's you done," says Mr Bryant now. "You're just the riff-raff. It's alright for us to go and put our lives on the line for the country but as soon we need help from the Government and our country – it's like 'nah'."
He is dismissive of the Covenant: "I don't think it makes any sense to be honest because I don't know anyone that it's helped at all. It just seems to be a load of words on paper – just to make a point that it's there."
Mr Bryant, who was brought up in care, had already served more than two years in the Royal Regiment of Scotland when he was sent to Afghanistan a few months after his 18th birthday.
"Afghanistan was crazy," he says. "When I did my first patrol we were briefed to watch where we were walking – we were told there'll be IEDs. Then you look at the maps and they have all these red dots where IEDs have been found – there are thousands of dots – they're everywhere."
Like many soldiers serving on the front line at that time he saw his fair share of pretty awful things. "The first dead soldier I saw was a mine sweeper. We just heard the boom. We didn't really know what had happened and ran up the road. But we couldn't get to him because there were secondary IEDs. By the time we got to him it was too late. He'd only lost one arm but he'd bled out."
Oddly it wasn't the unpleasantness of the war that made Mr Bryant want to leave the Army; it was the boredom of peace. He knew that after serving in Afghanistan he would be sent back to battalion headquarters with little to do but play computer games and keep up with physical training.
He was young, impetuous, and having travelled abroad wanted to see some more of the world. "I kind of messed up. I wanted to leave because I had a girlfriend. We had plans and stuff. I wanted to go and travel with her before she went to Uni – to do something with my life. I asked if I could take a year out to travel the world because three years of my life had just been spent in the Army.
"I wanted to leave the Army so bad but in a good way."
Despite his age and the fact that he had served time in Afghanistan he still had one year left of his four-year commission – and the Army would not let him break the commitment.
So Mr Bryant claimed to be taking steroids – an offence which would guarantee his immediate discharge. "My platoon sergeant knew it was a lie – because look at the build of me. But I said I need to get out. They discharged me within a week."
He went back to Glasgow but without any family and having split up from his girlfriend he soon began to drift. "I don't like to say how I was surviving when I left the Army but obviously I had to be doing things to get money and that.
"I was handing about with a lot of Albanians at that point. They were pretty nasty people. I knew I had to leave Glasgow. I was going to go to jail or I was going to be dead – one of the two."
With £100 in his pocket he left for London. But he knew no-one and had nowhere to live – ending up homeless.Eventually he was helped by Veterans Aid, a charity which supports, houses, and trains former servicemen regardless of their rank, background or reasons for leaving the army.
The charity has paid for him to train as a scaffolder and have put him up for more than a year at the East London hostel they run. But Mr Bryant is still angry at what he perceives to be the lack of care for soldiers like him who, while often naïve, perhaps deserve more support.
"I joined the army at 16 with no qualifications and left with no qualifications – apart from how to shoot a rifle and a GPMG (general purpose machine gun). I can't put that I know how to fire a gun on my application form for Marks and Spencer.
"There's a really, really big gap from what you do in the Army and what you do next. They're quick enough to get you to sign on the dotted line, give your oath of allegiance to the Queen. But come back from Afghanistan, you want to leave and that's it. There's a medal for you. See you later."
He pauses and adds simply: "We help the Government and the country and the country won't help us back."