Magnetic 'medal' displaying the Help for Heroes logo
On Saturday Barry and I went to a Hog Roast in aid of Help for Heroes. It was beautifully organised in lovely surroundings and was very well attended. The weather was kind and there was light in the sky well into the evening.
Everyone there was fully aware of the driving force behind the event. Our hosts' son had been very severely injured in January 2009 and for several days it was unclear whether he would recover and if he did how handicapped he might be. He had been blown up in Afghanistan and was evacuated immediately to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, undergoing surgery in the aircraft during the journey. The care he received both immediately and at the hospital was superb. He then went on to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court where injured service personnel are put carefully through exercise regimes designed for individual needs by dedicated skilful physiotherapists.
His shocked grateful family, seeing at first hand the outstanding treatment he was receiving, decided that they must do something to ensure that all returning wounded troops would receive the same superlative care so started raising funds and lobbying for Help for Heroes
The young officer is still undergoing rehabilitation but expects to return to full military duty later in the year. He told us of a Gurkha who was shot in the hand and lost the top of his thumb. He was treated at Camp Bastion and sent back to work. He was shot again, in the same hand, this time losing a finger. Patched up he returned to his duties and was involved in an incident that removed both his legs.
Fatalities are reported in the media but injured personnel get very little coverage and yet many of these brave souls will require treatment and support for years to come. Some of them are very young and the wounds are not always visible – post traumatic stress disorder is just one of the non-physical afflictions that can blight a person's life.
Fundraising is organised in diverse ways – a quick look at the Help for Heroes website gives an insight into the imaginative and enterprising events that have taken place and are being planned.
British Army Hero the Bear fridge magnet