With the end of our first 4,000 mile Walk 4 PTSD around the coastline of Britain getting closer we are already working on a series of new Walk 4 PTSD challenges for next year.
So what is Walk 4 PTSD?
We have all witnessed over the last 13 years the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the devastating injuries of those soldiers, sailors and air force personnel from these wars. People showed huge support at Royal Wootton Bassett for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, what we don’t see though is those who suffer the hidden wounds of war…Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
It isn’t only from recent wars though! Veterans have been suffering in silence for years not knowing where to get help. Many have been helped by the charity Combat Stress and many other charities and numbers are increasing all the time. The MOD and the Government tell us there is not a problem and it is no greater for military personnel than the general public. There is a reason for this though and that is many suffer after they leave the services with others being discharged due to PTSD so they then become a statistic of the NHS and not the MOD…make your own mind up on this one.
Walk 4 PTSD has been designed by Veterans In Action (VIA) to highlight PTSD to the public and media and also to raise funds to help those who suffer and is something we have been doing over the last 5 years covering 12,600 miles with over 400 veterans taking part. VIA believe that walking is the best therapy you can do and especially when you walk with others, it also allows you to meet many people something those who suffer find it difficult to do.
Next year VIA will be doing a series of walks designed to challenge and also to be enjoyable that those who suffer will be the main participants but to get the message across about PTSD we are inviting people to join our walks and to get sponsored to do so. This will they will hear real stories from the veterans taking part and from the VIA TEAM which are made up of veterans who have also suffered.
It is important that we keep this in the public eye or we will fail those who have given so much for our country. In the past not enough was done but WE CAN change this by doing something no matter how small that may be.
VIA will design walks that will start in May and finish in September but we would also like people to design their own walks and do them locally and invite others to join you on these walks. VIA do not ask for a lot in sponsorship like other challenges do, our aim is to get MANY people taking part and all raising a little, this is more achievable and makes participation much easier.
We are working on these events whilst on our current Walk 4 PTSD and will work with our web designer, Richard Belle on getting these on our website hopefully by the end of September.
VIA use TEAM in all we do which stands for TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE