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Public support is vital for our troops
A HAMPSHIRE soldier wounded in the line of duty says the public cannot underestimate how important their support is for returning troops.
Amputee John Sandford Hart has thrown his support behind heroes from the 17 Port and Maritime Regiment, who are returning from Afghanistan next week.
In just over a week’s time John will climb some 19,000 feet to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro on crutches for Help for Heroes, a world record should he complete it. The ex-TA soldier, part of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), severely damaged his right leg in a powerboat accident leading to it being amputated in February this year.
John did the London Marathon this year, setting two more world records and will attempt his third in a year on October 22.
Around 350 soldiers from the 17 Port and Maritime Regiment will parade through the Bargate next Thursday.
John, said: “It’s vital people come down and support them to pay respect for what the guys have been doing out there for everybody else.
“They deserve all the support they can get. Climbing this mountain is a mark of respect to all the guys out there, no matter what regiment and to soldiers past, present and future.”
John, 43, said that he struggled to say with words how important it was for the public to support returning troops.
“Fundraising for our climb we have had so many people come up and congratulate us for what we’re doing.
“It’s just so important to the lads that the people get down to Southampton next Thursday and make them feel proud.”
John will take on the climb with four other soldiers, one blinded, two shot and injured and two able bodied men aiming to raise £100,000.