Prayers for injured paratroopers on charity trek
Published 18 April 2012
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has offered his prayers for four injured servicemen embarking on a 14-day trek across North Africa today.
Sgt Alan Jackson, 29, Pte Pete Burns, 25, Pte Callum Urquhart, 20, and Pte Mark Vidler, 22, hope to raise £40,000 for the Parachute Regiment by participating in Mission Morocco 2012.
All four of the servicemen were injured in the conflict in Afghanistan but remain active in their regiment.
Sgt Jackson lost his right leg below the knee after stepping on an explosive device whilst out on patrol in February last year.
In a similar incident, Pte Burns had to have his left leg amputated below the knee after stepping on an explosive device during a patrol in January last year.
Each of the four men is leading a team that must work together in order to survive the tough desert conditions.
The specially designed challenges include a cross-desert 4x4 navigation task, a midnight walk to a safe house, a dawn raid exercise and a 10-mile march to the end of the trip in the style of the Parachute Regiment selection test.
The trek is being sponsored by Nissan, which has provided specially adapted vehicles for part of the challenge. Nissan employees are among the team members.
Dr Sentamu, who previously raised £100,000 for the Afghanistan Trust with a sponsored skydive, spoke of his admiration for the servicemen.
“I want to add my support to Sergeant Jackson and Privates Vidler, Burns and Urquhart ahead of their charity trek to Morocco. I will pray for them in this task they are undertaking,” he said.
“Our soldiers are the bravest and best in the world, and they have a real ‘can do’ attitude. When I meet injured soldiers, I am always inspired by their sense of determination and courage – no matter the obstacles that are put in front of them.
“In Yorkshire, in particular, we know the sacrifices our servicemen and women make on our behalf and I hope that people will get behind this trek as it raises funds to help injured soldiers and their families in The Parachute Regiment.”
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