On Thursday 23 May 2019, ex-PARA Martin Hewitt reached the summit of the World’s highest mountain, Mount Everest.
Martin is part of the Adaptive Grand Slam team who are attempting to become the first disabled team to climb the 7 highest peaks in the World as well as reaching the North and South Poles. The team have learnt to climb using modified techniques and equipment in order to take on the world’s most challenging mountains. This May, it was time to conquer Everest.
As well as reaching the summit, the team had hoped to raise £1 for every metre the mountain is high. They still have a way to go towards their target, but you can sponsor them here.
The Everest team first attempted to reach the summit in 2012 with Walking With The Wounded. Disappointingly the expedition was called off due to bad weather and extreme danger on the slopes but the team were hopeful for better conditions this year.
Joining Martin for most of the expedition was another ex-PARA, Terry Byrne. Martin & Terry were both wounded on operations in Afghanistan whilst serving with The Parachute Regiment. Unfortunately Terry began struggling with his injury and despite upping his medication to help with inflammation and pain, the decision was made for him to return home after he was unable to wear his prosthetic leg. This came after two weeks of Terry dealing with the pain and despite him knowing it was the best decision, it was a bitter pill to swallow considering the training and dedication he had put in for this attempt.
We are sure that Terry will be joining us when we say a huge Congratulations to Martin for reaching the summit of Mount Everest. This is a remarkable achievement and one that we and The Parachute Regiment are incredibly proud of. Once a Para, always a Para.
2019 has seen the Ultimate 10 Mile Endurance Race travel across the world as Paratroopers take the race on tour, challenging more people to test themselves against their high standards.
The PARAS’10 was originally founded by WO1 JJ Wilson and was run in Aldershot from 1982 to 1993. When the PARAS left Aldershot, the event lay dormant until 2008, when it was revived by Major Sam McGrath in Catterick. In 2012 it was introduced in Colchester, the home of our Airborne Forces.
The events are organised and run by the charity with the support of the battalions and they continue to go from strength to strength.
This year has already seen an event in Kabul, where 3 PARA set up and ran the event whilst on tour, raising some money for the charity. Not content with just one international race, 3 PARA have taken the event with them to The Falklands, where they are planning on holding an event this June.
The aim of the event is once again to promote and raise funds for their Regimental Charity, SUPPORT OUR PARAS and we are incredibly grateful to have their support.
On Sunday 28 April 2019, Jonny Mortimer-Hendry joined thousands of other runners to take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon.
Except Jonny was not just another runner. Jonny is ex-PARA and he chose to run the 26.2 mile course wearing body armour weighing 22lb to raise money and awareness of Mental Health support available from SUPPORT OUR PARAS.
Jonny writes, “When you go to war you take out a loan, when you return you pay it back. I joined The Parachute Regiment as an Officer, serving within all three Battalions. These included tours in Afghanistan, which I had the privilege of leading Paratroopers through an intense period of conflict. The challenge and camaraderie during this time presented a dichotomy that is hard to explain to those without similar experiences.
“I was involved in incidents that I struggled to process on return to the UK, the remedy I sought was to deploy back into the conflict zone that I’d recently left, catharsis in its most raw delivery. My first tour ended by arriving straight into Birmingham Hospital after flying back from Afghanistan with a seriously injured Paratrooper who died on landing in the UK.
“A few months later, I was back in Helmand. We were low on ammunition, surrounded by a very determined enemy and the man next to me had just been shot in the head. I remember feeling numb, I couldn’t process any more emotional responses. On returning to the UK after the last tour, I missed being away. To the credit of the Regiment’s welfare system, I started to seek help through SUPPORT OUR PARAS with processing my experiences.”
Jonny hopes that by speaking about his experiences, he will help those who are currently suffering in silence to come forward and seek help from the Regiment and the charity that are here to help them. He completed the marathon in an impressed 3h 28 and was still smiling at the finish line!
Paddy is a former member of 2 PARA and since leaving the regiment he has turned his athletic energy into beating strength speed stamina boxing martial arts records. His first fitness endurance record was in May 1987 and he has continued to break records since then.
A team of adventurers are attempting to reach the summit of Mount Everest. What makes them special? They are each disabled in one way or another.
The Adaptive Grand Slam team are attempting to become the first disabled team to climb the 7 highest peaks in the World as well as reaching the North and South Poles. They have learnt to climb using modified techniques and equipment in order to take on the world’s most challenging mountains.
The Everest team first attempted to reach the summit in 2012 with Walking With The Wounded. Disappointingly the expedition was called off due to bad weather and extreme danger on the slopes but the team are hopeful of better conditions this April 2019.
Two of the Everest team are ex-PARAS Martin Hewitt and Terry Byrne who were both wounded on operations in Afghanistan whilst serving with The Parachute Regiment.