Former Coldstream Guard’s fundraising challenge inspired by former commander
A military veteran is showing his support for a friend and former colleague who has been battling mental health issues for more than 10 years.
Barry Wall, from Brandon, is tabbing - a combination of forced marching and running - every other day for three-and-a-half miles throughout July.
Wearing his army gear and carrying a 44lb pack, the former solider is hoping to raise money for Walking With the Wounded.
The former Coldstream Guard was inspired by his company commander John Mayhead who has been documenting his struggles with PTSD.
Mr Mayhead has recently taken part in Walking With the Wounded’s Walk Of America - involving six wounded UK and US veterans walking from the west to east coast of the US over 12 weeks.
“John was a great man and leader and to see then to see him go through such turmoil, I felt I needed to do something. Anything to support John through this journey,” said Mr Wall, who served in the army for 15 years.
“I am lucky I came through two tours of Iraq unscathed.”
Starting out as moral support for his friend, the 44-year-old father of two is now using his challenge as a way to raise awareness of PTSD and money for the military charity.
Mr Wall’s route takes him around the part of the town and through Brandon Country Park.
The hot temperatures have meant the challenge has been tougher than he had expected.
Parts of the forest floor have become very sandy which means it is harder to walk on.
Mr Wall said he is covering one mile in around 11 minutes and is completing the three-and-a-half miles in around 40 minutes.
“For 44 I am quite proud of that,” said the health and safety manager.
“My wife thinks I am nuts but she has been very supportive.
“I’ve woken up and my legs have been dead and then I think why I’m doing this and I think of people like John and why am I moaning when people like him have been in a lot of pain.”
He added: “My main focus is to support my old friend, raise money and awareness, and to push my limits.”
So far Mr Wall has raised more than £300. To donate and follow his journey search Baz Wall on Facebook.
Visit Walking With the Wounded website for more about the charity.