It’s not something I talk about much on this blog, but I’ve always been a steady supporter of the UK armed forces, especially the Royal Marines whose ranks hold several of my closest friends. Regardless of the politics surrounding their deployment, I always thought the armed forces were worthy of support given the job they are asked to do and – perhaps more importantly – the job they might one day be asked to do in order to save the lives of my family and me.
War is hell, and the testimonies of my friends coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan don’t deviate much from this axiom, and it is with great admiration that I look upon those who have experienced it and – contrary to what (rightly) gets the most attention in the press – return to simply get on with the rest of their lives. Of course, getting on with the rest of your life is a lot easier if you have not suffered a battlefield injury, and for those that have – and there are sadly plenty of these occurring in Afghanistan and Iraq – they need all the support they can get. Knowing these chaps, they don’t want sympathy, they have more than enough mental strength to overcome the physical handicaps, what they need is good hard cash to pay for operations, prosthetics, and any specialist rehabilitation training and care they might need.
To this end, a group of Royal Marines is intending to undertake a 2,218 mile cycle ride following the exact route of the 2007 Tour de France in order to raise money for injured Royal Marines on what is billed as The Commandos Tour de France. Their website is here, and their Facebook page is here.
If you’ve got a few spare quid, please consider donating. It’s a worthy cause.