After a year of planning the VIA finally set off on the largest walking expedition to take place to highlight veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD called Walk 4 PTSD at 1000hrs of the 04th of May.
The VIA walking TEAM was joined for the first stage out of Andover by local veterans and their families and was seen off by Kit Malthouse from the Conservative Party and by Sue Perkins from UKIP and also Geoff McBride from Andover Town Council who also walked the first stage.
It was fantastic to get local support and this show of support will help the veterans doing the 4,000 miles to complete each day and help rebuild their confidence, self-esteem and self-belief which is the purpose of all VIA’s long distance walks.
It would be fantastic to see this support in other areas of our route around the coastline of Britain and to have as many as possible join us for the last 6 mile stage back into Andover on the 31st of August so please spread the word.
The aim of Walk 4 PTSD is to help ‘Stop the Stigma’ of veterans suffering from PTSD and the only way to do that is to get out there and talk to the public and tell them about those who suffer and who better to tell them than those who suffer themselves. We will do this as we walk to all we meet and the many locations that we will fundraise on route to help spread the word of our work and of course those we help.
The TEAM was dealt a blow just before we started with two walkers dropping out which is something that happens and can’t be helped as all VIA walks are a huge commitment. This meant that on day 1 instead of covering our planned 60 miles we were 6 miles short but that will be added to the next day and so on until we get a day off and the miles not covered will be done then.
This is something that happens and we expect it but it is how you deal with it that is important!
A plan is just a plan and all those who have served know that it always goes pear shaped it is how you adapt and make it work that is important and we factored in extra days to allow for this.
The VIA TEAM would like to thank everyone who turned up to see us off and who walked the first stage and to our clothing sponsor Regatta’s Great Outdoors who supplied us with clothing way more than we could have ever expected, believe me it was humbling for us all.
First day completed another 119 to do.