Injured Afghan vets take on final mission - by bike

Bomb disposal team will ride for limbless servicemen's charity

by Tom Henry   March 22, 2010  

afghan ver.jpg

A team of Afghanistan veterans – most of whom were injured in a bomb explosion last summer – are to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise cash for the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen Association (BLESMA)

Captain Wayne Owers, a bomb disposal expert, worked in Helmand last summer clearing IEDS. But forensic evidence manager Cpl Jonny Wallace stood on a bomb which ripped his leg open from ankle to hip.

LCpl Davie Timmins, his bodyguard, lost his right eye and hearing in his right ear along with other serious lacerations over his body.

Electronics experts LCpl James Marsh, and equipment maintenance man Cpl Richard McKinnon, also suffered minor injuries in the blast.

All four received treatment at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham and are still having follow-up treatment nine months on.

Despite their injuries the team, plus Casualty Visiting Officer Capt Pete Graham, are reuniting in June for the LEJOG ride with the aim of raising £10,000.

Capt Owers told the Leamington Observer:: “In order that we can focus the minds of my team while they undergo various operations and bouts of rehabilitation, we have decided to do a charity cycle ride.

“The challenge is clearly made all the more difficult for some of these lads who have fairly restrictive injuries.”

Lcpl Timmins said: “Our daily routine of being tasked to dispose of these deadly devices carried a great risk of losing limbs or life. The experiences we have been through together would sound far fetched or be dismissed as, elaborations by most people. It is sharing those experiences that have brought us so close... Mates for life!

“Knowing our team would be together for "one last task" (cycling from Lands End to John O Groats), would be brilliant for all of us. Even more so, knowing that any money raised would help other injured soldiers would be outstanding.”

So far, the team has raised around £3,500. To find out more about them and to donate, visit http://www.justgiving.com/Felix-End2End