Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2017
Folk will know that I rode in the first Help for Heroes bike ride, back in 2008 - and have done a number since. I took a break after the 2013 ride, and moved on to be a Trustee for a small, highly specialised charity which has received support from Help For Heroes.
My service as a Gunner officer resulted in a significant physical injury to my spine, and in 2004, I was further diagnosed with PTSD. It took, and takes bravery to continue to manage mental health difficulties. Veterans had no easily accessed support available in 2004, and although the situation has improved immeasurably, we continue to lose men and women to the depths of despair brought on by their mental wounds. Some kill themselves. Help For Heroes is a beacon of good practice in this field, and via their funding of a number of projects, the wounded are brought back into a dignified existence. Because of the delay inherent in mental health conditions, the need for funds not only continues, but is growing. For the physically wounded, the costs of daily life do not go away - prosthetics wear out, and the NHS do not necessarily honour the true spirit of the military covenant. Politicians and the Treasury certainly 'forget' the promises of just a few years ago.
Can I ask you to donate some money. It is easy to do, and be assured that I will be suffering far more than you as I get fit to get to Arnhem in good order. Although I have family links to the Market Garden Operation, and have my own graves to visit, I will also commemorate on behalf of his family the loss of a Glider Pilot, Sgt William Dobbings GPR [AAC], KIA 25/09/1944.