'I felt alone' - Wife of Kiwi soldier killed in line of duty says Poppy Day is important to help families 'get through' loss of loved ones

The theme for this year's RSA Poppy Appeal, not all wounds bleed, is highlighting mental health injuries which are the most common, but least understood, of all wounds suffered by New Zealand servicemen and women.

Tina Grant's husband Corporal Doug Grant, was killed in line of duty in Afghanistan in 2011.

"When I went back to work four weeks later I felt alone ... everything hit me, that I am now a solo mum of two kids working full time and I'm the sole provider," Ms Grant, who also works for the Defence Force told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

She says there's now more awareness about metal health issues and how they effect "not only soldiers but the families too".

After discovering gaps in support services the Defence Force offered to families of those killed while in the military Ms Grant created a role where she now works with families who lost loved ones in service.

"The soldiers go to work ... but when they come home, it's the families that have to pick them and put up with the mood-swings, anger and depression,"

"That's why Poppy Day is so important, to help these people get through."

Defence Force's Tina Grant who lost her husband in line of duty sat down and spoke with TVNZ1's Breakfast today. Source: Breakfast