EX-SERVICEMEN are about to strap on their boots to help those who have not been so lucky.
A total of 27 men, about 15 of whom work at Shoreham’s Ricardo, are attempting a 16-mile sponsored walk across the South Downs, in aid of Help for Heroes, on Saturday (July 28).
Steve Dunsmure, 53, of Croft Lane, Findon Valley, spent about 16 years in the Royal Air Force, retiring as a petty officer in 1992, before joiing Ricardo as an electrical engineer.
He said: “Not only is it a good cause, we are all fortunate we did not have to sacrifice any part of our body in the interests of the country, so we want to help those who were not so lucky.”
The walk is expected to take about seven hours, leaving the engineering giant’s Shoreham Airport base at about 8am, with the route taking the team to Chanctonbury Ring, Cissbury Ring and Steyning Bowl, before heading back along the River Adur to finish back at the company.
“These lads have been out, in Afghanistan, or other trouble spots, and have given a lot for their country. I don’t know if the country really recognises the sacrifices they are making,” added Steve.
“Some are coming back with severe injuries, and they need help to get back on track.”
He has organised the challenge with the help of colleagues, Paul Axworthy, a 61-year-old ex-paratrooper, of Old Salts Farm Road, Lancing, and Bob Potter, 54, who was also in the navy, and lives in Monks Close, Lancing, and the team hope to raise about £3,000 between them.
“The Royal Navy used to have two dedicated hospitals,” said Steve, “but they were closed, and now servicemen go into NHS hospitals. They are doing a fantastic job with no money, but because of the extent of some of these injuries, the servicemen need specialist care.”
The challenge itself though, was not a daunting one.
“We all do a lot of exercise,” he said.
To donate to the fund, go to www.bmycharity.com/SteveDunsmure2012