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Walk from Royal Wootton Bassett to aid war heroes
Veterans are tackling a 200-mile walk to raise funds to help former servicemen suffering from mental illnesses.
Alan Cottrell and John Tarry, who served in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment, are walking from Royal Wootton Bassett to the Royal Marines’ base in Devon over the next few days.
They are hoping to raise more than £5,000 for Combat Stress, which helps former servicemen who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, paranoia or depression.
Mr Cottrell, 68, of Royal Wootton Bassett, said: “It is one of the lesser-known forces charities. With a physical injury it is easy to spot but mental scars you can’t see until it is too late. I have a colleague who suffers.
“Combat Stress gives the guys mental care and support if hospitalisation is needed. They give general support and get them on the road to recovery.
“If you are on patrol and you see the guy in front of you get blown to pieces or shot, it is when you get back to your home base that it really kicks in.
“Combat Stress does a fantastic job in helping those suffering through the horrors of conflict.
“With the repatriations and with me being local I thought Royal Wootton Bassett would be a good place to start the walk.”
Mr Cottrell and Mr Tarry, who will be joined by other walkers along the route, have raised more than £500 through their website so far. Their target is between £5,000 and £10,000.
It is expected to take them four days to complete and they will be accompanied by support vehicles.
They set off yesterday morning and will camp in tents overnight. They will be driven back after reaching the base and hope to be back by June 28.
Commodore Andrew Cameron, chief executive of Combat Stress, said: “For many of our patients Combat Stress is quite literally a lifeline. A beacon of hope and safety where they can get professional support from people who understand, often from personal experience, the impact that serving their country in the Armed Forces can really have.
“We are indebted to all of our donors and supporters for their sustained and generous contribution to our success. Demand is constantly developing as the stresses on our people and the ways in which society manages mental health change.”
To sponsor the team visit www.justgiving.com/alan-cottrell-john-tarry