Losing his right eye whilst serving in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) led Justin Rookes, from Hampshire to find out about Blind Veterans UK.
Now fitted with a prosthetic eye, he decided to take part in the London Marathon this year to raise funds for the charity.
He said: “This will be my first marathon and I want to do it for a charity which means something to me. I want to be able to support those less fortunate than myself and running for Blind Veterans UK, will give the motivation I need during my many training runs.”
During Justin’s 25 years in service, he served in Germany, Canada, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Falkland Islands, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Belize and Northern Ireland. He was medically discharged in 2013 when he held the rank of Captain.
He said: “The Army becomes a bit like a comfort blanket, in terms of the lifestyle. When you leave, that is all lost very suddenly. You also lose the camaraderie and suffering a serious injury like I did can really pull that blanket away from you. I met blind veteran Simon Brown at a military charity dinner, who also served in the REME. It was through him that I learnt about the support that Blind Veterans UK can provide and the difference that they make.”
Even though this will be Justin’s first marathon, he has done many fundraising challenges for charities over the years. He said: “This is technically my first marathon, but I race each month competing in trail races of up to 20 miles, so I’m used to endurance running. I managed to raise over £2,500 for the last charity I supported when I ran the London Summer Run. I hope that I can do better for Blind Veterans UK.”
To support Justin taking part in the London Marathon, please visit his JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/justin-rookes
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