Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Major Phil Packer: Hero

There are many stories about our wounded warriors whose post-deployment exploits demonstrate what amazing people they are. I came across this story out of England yesterday, and had to share it with all of you.

Meet Major Phil Packer:

Marathon Major: Wounds made me feel my life was ripped apart

Anna Davis

When Major Phil Packer was sent to Basra at the head of 115 Provost Company Royal Military Police he could not know that the conflict would utterly change his life.

Major Phil Packer
“Part of the team”: Major Phil Packer is classed as paraplegic but is walking the London Marathon

His deployment in November 2007 to British HQ in southern Iraq would end with him losing the use of his legs. He suffered spinal injuries when a vehicle rolled over him during the chaos of a mortar attack on the base.

Today he was continuing the London marathon on crutches to raise £1million for Help For Heroes, a charity for those injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 36-year-old, who took his first unaided steps last month, is covering two miles each day before returning to his specially-adapted home in Westminster to recover. He said: "When this first happened I felt my whole life had been ripped apart. I had no idea what to do, but I wanted to still be part of the team and feel I was contributing to the military." He hopes to complete the marathon in two weeks....[here]

And how did Major Packer do on the London Marathon? He finished it, of course:

Now marathon major sets his sights higher

Danny Brierley

Phil Packer

Challenge: Phil Packer crosses the St James’s Park finish line

The disabled army major who took two weeks to complete the 26-mile marathon circuit will take less than two days off before beginning training for his next charity challenge.

Phil Packer, who lost the use of both legs after being badly injured in a bomb blast in Basra, will scale a building in London tomorow(TUES), the first day of preparation before an attempt to climb a 3,000 ft vertical rock face.

The 36-year-old paraplegic has about three weeks of intensive training to complete before setting off for the El Capitan in America's Yosemite National Park.

Hundreds turned out to cheer Major Packer across the marathon finishing line in St James's Park - he completed two miles a day - on Saturday including member of his family and five-time Olympic gold medal rower Sir Steve Redgrave.

Major Packer stayed to thank many of those who were there, in a day he called “overwhelming”.

But the elation of completing the latest in a series of gruelling trials aimed at raising £1 million for soldiers' charity Help for Heroes had barely dissipated before preparations were being made for the climb... [to read the rest of this, go here]

Major Phil Packer: HERO!!!

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