Former RAF crewman to walk the coast

Thursday 2nd June 2022 2:00 pm
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A FORMER RAF crewman, who was medically discharged from the service more than 40 years ago, is walking the Wales Coast Path to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Roger Phillips, from Aberaeron, was a helicopter crewman with 28 Squadron Royal Force, based at the now defunct RAF Station Sek Kong, in Hong Kong, in 1979, when, on a routine training run, his aircraft pitched into the South China Sea, and he found himself trapped inside as the airframe sank.

He managed to break free of his harness to reach the surface just in time, where he was picked up, along with two crewmates, by a Chinese junk. However, he was psychologically impacted by the trauma and a year later he was discharged with severe PTSD – although, he admits “I hate that term”.

He said: “I like to say that, in the meantime, I have survived ‘admirably’, and I’m now, in my own way, trying to help those who have been less fortunate than I have been, hence this challenge. Ultimately, I’m hoping to go the whole way.”

Last year he walked 500 miles around the Scottish Highlands in 28 days and decided to walk in Wales this year, to raise funds for Help for Heroes. He left Chester on 23 May and is scheduled to reach the Llŷn Peninsula in the second week of June.

Launched in 2012, The Wales Coast Path was heralded as the first dedicated coast path to cover the length of a country’s coastline.

Help for Heroes’ Area Fundraising Manager, Rhys Edwards, said: “Roger has set himself quite a challenge and we are immensely grateful he has chosen our charity to be the beneficiary. We wish him a safe walk and will keep everything crossed that he experiences only the best of the Welsh weather.”

Help for Heroes believes those who serve our country deserve support when they’re wounded. Every day, men and women have to leave their career in the Armed Forces as a result of physical or psychological wounds. The Charity helps them, and their families, to recover and get on with their lives. Having already supported more than 26,500 people, the charity says it won’t stop until every wounded veteran gets the support they deserve.

To donate to Roger’s fundraising effort, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/walkwithroger-helpforheroes.

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