Suffolk war hero launches ice bucket style challenge to raise awareness for PTSD
PUBLISHED: 16:10 07 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:10 07 October 2017
A Suffolk war veteran who is raising awareness for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is urging people to show their support for sufferers and “walk a mile in their shoes”.
Trevor Coult from the Woodbridge area was awarded a Military Cross for risking his life to protect comrades in Iraq and fought off suicide bombers during his time with the armed forces over nearly 20 years.
But the former Colour Sergeant suffers from PTSD, and as part of a fresh campaign by Veterans in Action, aims to help raise awareness and money for those suffering from the condition.
“If you look at the Help For Heroes posters it has got people like a guy with a Union Jack prosthetic leg, and that grabs people’s attention,” he said.
“But if you see people with PTSD, people would say there is nothing wrong with them.
“PTSD cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with positive people, medication and being outside.”
He added: “A lot of veterans don’t talk about that stuff with civilians but they will connect with each other, that’s why they do lots of support groups and that’s why we are walking.”
This morning, the ex-Royal Irish Regiment man set off on an eight mile Walk 4 PTSD with friends and colleagues from Hadleigh as part of the new ‘Walk A Mile In My Shoes’ campaign.
The ice-bucket style challenge urges people to tag their friends on social media and challenge them to walk a mile, donating £3 to VIA.
Joining the walk was Paul ‘Tug’ Hartley, a patron of the cause who bravely refused to leave injured colleagues in a minefield in Afghanistan in 2006, helping them to safety.
Tug’s plight was the inspiration for the 2014 film Kajaki, with the Hereford-based veteran challenging some of the film’s stars including Mark Stanley and Scott Kyle as part of the campaign.
After making the four-hour trip to Hadleigh for the walk, Tug said: “When I left the military with PTSD there was no help and support.
“There are scars and the memories you live with, and for some people it [PTSD] comes along up to 15 years after.
“This is to make the public aware that when you live in Afghanistan 100% on the edge every day, to try and come back to a normal life is difficult.”
To donate to the cause, visit the online fundraising page here.
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