Tuesday, 18 January 2011

DecAid – Honouring 10 Years In Afghanistan

I am uncertain of how much coverage this is getting in the press around the Isles but I feel I must give the boys and girls at DecAid a big shout.

DecAid is a national appeal set up to mark the tenth year of conflict in Afghanistan, raise awareness of the work and involvement of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan, remember those men and women who have lost their lives in Afghanistan and to raise as much money for three service charities that help ex-servicemen and their families.

I strongly believe in supporting our forces. I have had a strong connection with them since being in cadets as a youngster and have continued this through various organisations until rather recently. In addition a large percentage of my friends are employed by The Queen, of whom seven six (get well soon Tel!) are actively deployed on Forward Operating Bases in Afghanistan.

Most people can’t even imagine the hardships the guys out there are going through and every day dangers that they are exposed to. Who here would like to be eating boil and the bags every day for six months, never mind the ambush/IED threat, separation from family/friends, poor living conditions, heat, etc.

It’s an unenviable, unthankful job that should receive far greater attention from the media, for the positive stories as much attention as the negative. However we aren’t living in utopia and no one seems to want to hear about the positive impact the guys are having to work so hard out there to achieve.

Anyways, needless to say I support all the hard work the services charities do and feel DecAid warrants some support, as little as publishing it here will achieve.


Another reason for my interest in the appeal is a friends involvement, Tom O’Connell, who I went to university with. His involvement is enough for a a shout out, however it is the Munro Mission that he is helping lead that really piques my interest.

On 1st August 2011 the team will begin their challenge to summit all 283 Scottish Munros (mountain over 3,000ft) in under 50 days. However, there is more to their challenge than just ‘Munro Bagging’. The team will dedicate every Munro they climb to servicemen and women who have lost their lives in Afghanistan over the past 10 years.

If this task was not already tough enough, the team will complete it without the use of motorised transport. They will cover the 1600 miles using bicycles and kayaks but mainly on foot. This will require them to cover around 36 miles and summit 6 Munros every day for 49 consecutive days.

More than 1600 miles on foot, bike and kayak; over 61 miles of vertical ascent; 283 peaks and all in just 49 days. This is a superhuman endeavour, and on its own will hopefully raise plenty of money and national attention for the appeal.

Its an event I would relish to have the chance to get involved in, however I will settle with wishing Tom and the rest of his team the best of luck on their epic journey.

Please look over the DecAid webpage, think about getting involved and save a thought for the servicemen out in Afghanistan.

2 comment(s) so far, add your thoughts -->>here<<--:

The Weekend Dude said...

What a challenge - that is huge. It will certainly raise awareness for the guys out there however. Noone can thank them enough for what they are doing out there and they by no means get the recognition they should. Any raising of awareness is a good thing and this can't do anything but help the cause. Wow

Mac E said...

That is a serious challenge, hope they manage to hit the target. Agree with what you say, the armed forces in Afganistan have an extremely difficult and often thankless task and all too often make the ultimate sacrifice.

When we hear 'killed in action' on the news it sounds clinical and instant, chapter 11 in the book 'Task Force Helmand' by Doug Beattie MC tells the reality.

When the media reports a serviceman 'wounded' it sounds almost trivial, again the reality is far from trivial and the effects can and often are life changing beyond what we can even begin to comprehend.