PARA VETERAN REG CURTIS STILL SUPPORTING US

When Reg Curtis passed away in January 2016 it is believed that he was the last man standing from the original volunteers who called themselves No. 2 Commando, 11th SAS, 1st Parachute Battalion, the pioneers who set the bar for The Parachute Regiment.

In 1940, when they answered Winston Churchill’s call for a new type of fighting soldier, there were no special parachutes for jumping from aircraft, and no suitable aircraft. All too often they suffered fatalities or severe injuries in training. They were literally jumping into the unknown.

Before he died Reg pledged income from his book The Memory Endures to our charity. Badly wounded at Arnhem in 1944, which led to his right leg being amputated, he wanted to support his modern-day paratrooper equivalent. Reg’s book was published by his family under their imprint Pilots Publishing and has remained in print ever since, with all profits sent to SUPPORT OUR PARAS.

We thank Reg for his loyalty to the Regiment he loved, and his family for their care with his legacy. Reg’s nephew Geoffrey Holland, who administers Pilots Publishing, appeals for others to join Reg and support our work in his name. Please take a look at his message here: https://justgiving.com/campaign/regcurtis.

Geoffrey says he couldn’t have wished for a better role model than Reg. Frankly, nor could we. Reg, we salute you. You and your comrades will always be remembered.

To buy Reg’s book, visit https://pilotspublishing.co.uk/the-memory-endures. Geoffrey’s email address is there. Copies are available worldwide by mail order.

1940 Airborne Burpee Challenge

The first annual 1940 Airborne Burpee Challenge was a huge success this April, raising over £16,000 for SUPPORT OUR PARAS!

Almost 50 people took part in the challenge to do 1,940 burpees throughout the month of April in honour of the year Airborne Forces were formed.

April also marked 15 years since The Parachute Regiment was first deployed to Afghanistan and although we have not been in theatre for a number of years, the scars and trauma many soldiers suffered there still lives with them. Maintaining good mental health is just as important as maintaining our physical health, but for soldiers it is often difficult to talk about some of their experiences. 

Our Burpee entrants have done an amazing job in raising money to help us to help them. SUPPORT OUR PARAS remains committed to helping any member of The Parachute Regiment or Airborne Forces talk about their experiences and get them the help they need.

The 1940 Airborne Burpee Challenge will become an annual event, so don’t worry if you missed out in 2021; it will return in 2022!

Can You Help Us To Help Jon?

At just 24 years old, paratrooper Jon became C4 tetraplegic, with no movement from his neck down, following a road traffic accident. His dreams of joining the SAS and having a full military career like his father, uncle and grandfather were taken away. But now there is a chance for him to lead a more independent life, thanks to a ‘Jaco’ robot arm.

www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/robotarmforjon

At 16 years old, Jon started his training to become a Paratrooper. He was Champion Recruit at his passing out and joined C Coy 3PARA. In 2003, he did a tour of Iraq. His intention was to join Sniper Company and try for SAS selection.

Jon has no movement below his neck and controls his daily life through a chin-operated joystick on his electric wheelchair

However, in 2003, Jon suffered a catastrophic injury in a Road Traffic Accident and has been C4 tetraplegic ever since: no movement from his neck down; for 18 years, his sole but limited control of his daily life has been through a chin-operated joystick on his electric wheelchair; worlds away from the SAS Sniper life he was working towards.

Jon wants what all of us want, a more active and meaningful life and to be able to make an active contribution to society. He has recently enrolled in an Open University course as a start point. However, his tetraplegia has presented new obstacles even to online learning, as well as daily living.

His family recently became aware of a ‘Jaco’ robotic arm, which could radically transform Jon’s life by allowing him independence and the ability to complete tasks that able-bodied people take for granted, like eating, switching on lights, scratching your own itches and taking a selfie!

A ‘Jaco’ arm would radically improve Jon’s quality of life

As you might expect, this tech doesn’t come cheap. This is where we need your help.

Jon is one of our own and family take care of each other. But there may be other brothers out there who one day may need the same help. Your donations will support Jon and others like him.

Visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/robotarmforjon to help us reach our target.

7 Marathons in 7 Days

Ben Tench has just completed 7 marathons in 7 days. Let that sink in; 7 marathons in 7 days. That’s just under 200 miles in 7 days. His reason? To raise money for us and Pilgrim Bandits Charity.

Not content with just running the distance, Ben chose to TAB this mammoth event carrying an impressive 80lb bergan with him. Ben said, “I wanted to test my endurance with this event and raise money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS and Pilgrim Bandits charity respectively.”

He is almost at his target of £5,000 but needs your help to give him that last push to the finish line. You can donate via his page here.

Pilgrim Vizsla 2021 Fundraiser

Jon Fletcher and his Hungarian Vizsla, Belle, will be running/tabbing 1,200 miles in 2021 to raise money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS.

Jon says, “A recent change of career (which has helped both mentally, medically & personal) has given me time to concentrate on what I do best with my dogs – long distance Mountain running / Tabbing.

“We are lucky during lockdown that we live in an area of South Wales that we can go onto trails straight from our front door to train. If and when lockdown ends, we will hit National Trails and if events ever do continue during 2021 then as part of events.”

Although Jon will mainly be running with Belle, he has a four dog team that will assist when Belle is having a day off. Meet the team:

Otto, Yogi, Ode and Belle

Belle – 19 months old and small for a Vizsla (she was the runt of the litter) but hard as nails and is an all weather dog.

Ode – 4.5 year old Hungarian Vizsla with one eye.  Muscles of the Team and Belle’s older half-brother. Works better in warmer climate and is a tank going up hills & mountains.

Yogi  – 7 year old Husky. Plant pot, a bit of a bluffer and works better in colder weather.

Otto – 12 year old Husky and Senior Tom. Seen it all and only puts a minimal amount in now due to his age but still has it mentally. Works well in all weathers.

You can follow their progress on Facebook, Instagram and Strava. To help them reach their target, you can donate via their fundraising page Pilgrim Vizsla is fundraising for SUPPORT OUR PARAS (justgiving.com)

The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Charity