Walking with the wounded

Expedition News-Official Website

From 22.02.2011 - Status: success

Helping the wounded to reach North Pole

Helping the wounded to reach North Pole

© Their website / IPF

The aim of this expedition is to successfully reach the North Pole with four wounded soldiers which will make them the first amputees to reach the Pole.

Here is what the founder of this adventure, Edward Parker, has to say about the philosophy of the all trip : " Today our Armed Forces are being asked to do much on our behalf and in our name. Every day young men and women are risking their lives in extreme circumstances. They do this with great professionalism and courage. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice, losing their lives in the course of duty, and we must never forget them. But there is another story. During the course of operations, many young men and women have suffered horrific injuries. When the wounded return home they face a very different future, with challenges they probably never imagined. Needless to say, they meet this uncertainty with the same courage and determination they demonstrated on the front line. But there’s is a long road to recovery, and for many their future outside the Armed Forces is unsure. This is when a different degree of bravery becomes apparent.

It is that future that Walking with the Wounded is helping support. It is vital that those who have been wounded, both physically and mentally, find jobs in the civilian world. Having a job is key for their future security, their presence of mind, their feeling of worth and for their well-being. We have identified education projects and training courses which specifically account for both physical and mental injuries, at establishments like Portland College and Enham Alamien. The effort for the wounded is becoming more coordinated with the military at the core of this. The Army has recently launched the Army Recovery Capability, a seamless process to assist wounded soldiers either back into active duty, or into civilian life. Walking with the Wounded is working with the ARC providing funding for the re-training and re-skilling of wounded soldiers. We will also be providing funds to Help for Heroes to assist with the funding of the Regional Recovery Centres which they are building. We consider these Centres core to the ability for individuals to establish themselves in the civilian world. Every single penny we raise will go towards this effort. All our running costs are covered by our generous sponsors, so we can say, unusually, that every 100 pence in a pound will go to assist these young men and women get work.

I have had first hand experience of what these young men and women go through as my nephew was seriously wounded in Helmand in July 2009. I have seen at firsthand how incredibly brave our wounded have to be. Having served in The Royal Green Jackets and seen service in Northern Ireland, I am fully aware of the responsibility we owe our injured soldiers. It is a continuous duty that we have to our wounded servicemen and women, and their rehabilitation into the workplace is vital."

The team aims to be dropped in at a location around 85° to 86° N which is approx 240nm-300nm (300nm being 555km or 345miles) from the top of the world. This gives us 25 days to cover a max distance 12nm a day – a tough but realistic endeavour which will require symbyotic team work between all members of the expedition to ensure success.

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