Basrah troops hit the road for charity
Servicemen and women based at the Contingency Operating Base (COB) in Basrah, Iraq, will be covering the equivalent distance from Herford (in Germany – the home of 1 (UK) Armoured division) to Basrah in order to raise vital funds for charity.
Team Lamassu consists of 20 volunteers from across the Division as well as from the Australian and American contingents based at the COB. From Thursday 13th September until Friday 12th October, each member of the team will be expected to run, row or cycle over 6km a day in the searing desert heat.
The event takes place during the Islamic month of Ramadan – the most important event in the Islamic calendar and a period when particular emphasis is placed upon giving to charity. Half of the funds that the team will raise will go to local charities in Basra – which will enable beds, air conditioning units, electricity generators and minibuses to be provided for under privileged children from the Al Basrah area.
The other half is being donated to the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association (BLESMA), which aims to promote the welfare of all those who have lost a limb or limbs, or one or both eyes, or the use of limbs as a result of service in any branch of Her Majesty's Forces or Auxiliary Forces and to assist needy dependants of such service limbless.
Today, BLESMA are aiding thousands of amputees of all ages. From those who served during WWII, to recent conflicts and peace keeping missions.
Frank Garside of BLESMA, said:
“We were delighted when we heard that Team Lamassu wanted to do this to raise money for BLESMA. To run 6km a day for a month in any conditions must be hard, but to do it out in the heat of the Iraqi desert is a real challenge and we are very grateful to Team Lamassu for all their efforts on our behalf.”
The whole of the base are getting behind the team, who have been in training for the event. The team members are looking forward to it, if a little nervous.
Major Adam Wilson, the event organiser and one of the runners said:
“It’s a real challenge to run, row or cycle 7 Km a day, every day for a month, but there is a real determination in team Lamassu and it’s great to know that every pace we take will raise money for our charities.”