After a rigorous selection process that must have brought back ‘some’ fond memories, five ex-military personnel were chosen to undertake the Walk of Oman for the Walking With The Wounded charity.
Walking with the Wounded is a charity created to support the employment aspirations and vocational outcomes of wounded, injured and sick ex-servicemen and women who have been disadvantaged by their service. To help bring awareness to the charity, it embarks on expeditions which frankly would challenge even the fittest able-bodied people.
The latest challenge is an epic trek inspired by Wilfred Thesiger which starts on November 20th ending on December 11th 2020
Thesiger, a British military officer, travelled across the Arabian Peninsula in the 1940s, and the trek will see the team embrace the same hostile conditions in the Omani desert. The expedition will end on Oman’s Armed Forces Day.
The team undertaking this challenging expedition is made up of five ex-military personnel and one member still currently serving. It will be an astonishing undertaking as all six of the team have physical or cognitive injuries and will pull a custom-built cart weighing in excess of 300kg (around three times their own bodyweight) across the Omani desert.
Highlighting the extraordinary courage of the men and women who have been injured, both physically and mentally, while serving their countries, the walk will showcase the need for continued support in aiding the transition from the Armed Forces into civilian life.
Experiencing extreme temperatures as high as 95°F and trekking between 20 km to 22 km per day in what will be an unforgettable three-weeks of strength, determination and grit, the team facing the desert are:
The Walk of Oman Team
David Adams – David spent 13 years as an Aircraft Technician in the REME, serving in the UK, Afghanistan, Cyprus and Oman. David was medically discharged after a diagnosis of PTSD, following traumatic events whilst serving in Afghanistan.
Sean Gane – Joining the British Army in 1986 as an Infantryman, Sean served for 12 years between ’86 and 2014, leaving and later rejoining. He served on operational tours including Afghanistan and served his last tour in 2009. It was during this last tour Sean witnessed many traumatic events and was later diagnosed with PTSD and hearing and nerve damage. He was medically discharged in 2014.
Ben McComb – Ben joined the Army Reserves in October 2005 and served as a Private Solider until 2011, during which time he was selected for officer training. In 2011, he commenced regular officer training at RMAS and commissioned into the Royal Artillery. Ben has neural impingement and nerve damage in his lower limbs which is incurable. However, his condition is stable due to continuous self-rehabilitation management.
Brian O’Neill – Brian joined the British Army in 1990 aged 17 and served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Royal Military Police and Military Provost Staff Regiment. Brian served in 7 operational tours including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant during his 26 years of serving in the Armed Forces. He found the transition from military to civilian life exceptionally difficult.
Andrew Phillips – Having served in the Royal Air Force from 1983 – 1993 as a Junior Technician, Andrew was injured in the build-up to the Gulf War and eventually received a medical discharge due to a spinal cord injury. Struggling with the transition from military to civilian life, he became involved in the Invictus Games which helped him regain focus and a positive outlook on life.
Ashley Winter – Ashley served as a Challenger 2 Tank crewman serving in Kosovo and Iraq. He was diagnosed with Keratoconus ten years ago and has undertaken various physical challenges to inspire others.
To lend support and find out more about Walk of Oman for Walking with the Wounded visit www.wwtw.org.uk.
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