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Former Governor-General Now
Patron of The Long Ride Home
The Australian leg of The Long Ride Home has begun with the news that former Australian Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery AC, AO(Mil), CVO, MC (Retd) has come on board as Patron.
Accepting an invitation from ride principal Laurie ‘Truck’ Sams to take up the role Major General Jeffery said:
“Laurie's cause is a noble one; to raise funds to highlight the need for greater public and political awareness of the needs of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Well done for bringing this issue to public attention in such an appropriate and inspiring way. Let's all dig deep to make his epic ride the financial success it so richly deserves.”
And Truck’s response:
“Several VIPs came to mind when we were looking for a patron but none is better suited than Major General Jeffery, former Governor-General, Governor of Western Australia and the acknowledged ‘father’ of the Special Air Service, my old regiment. Mike’s endorsement is a huge boost because it adds real horsepower to our objective of generating greater community awareness of and response to veteran suicide and PTSD.”
Ex-SAS Amputee Begins Asia-Australia Charity Ride to Support PTSD Victims
A former Special Air Service Regiment soldier who lost a leg saving a fellow parachutist has left on a 10,000km bike ride from Hanoi to Sydney to raise money for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries.
Laurie ‘Truck’ Sams, 67, who served with the SAS in Vietnam before losing his left leg in a parachute accident, will take six months to complete the epic ride through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and across Australia.
Mr Sams will leave the Australian Embassy in Hanoi carrying an Australian flag he plans to present to the Australian War Memorial at 11am on Friday, November 11 to mark Remembrance Day 2016 before cycling on to Sydney and a welcome on the steps of Sydney Opera House on Sunday, November 20.
A world champion parachutist, Mr Sams was awarded the Star of Courage for the parachute incident in 1995. After learning to walk with a prosthetic leg he led two trekking expeditions along the 315km Thai section of the notorious Thai Burma Railway and has completed a series of charity bike rides around Asia.
He said he set his sights on “the big ride” to Australia as a friendship initiative between Australia and Asia and to support injured veterans.
“I’m blown away at the number of vets suffering from PTSD and other injuries, not just from Vietnam but all the conflicts we have been involved in before and since,” he said.
“My dad Bill was a prisoner on the Thai-Burma Railway in World War 2 and I lost mates in Vietnam. Many other mates are still suffering terribly, and I want to use the ride to raise money for their treatment and really shine a spotlight on their problems.”
The ride will pass through the paddy fields and dense jungle of Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City before striking west through Cambodia and Thailand and skirting the Gulf of Thailand south to Malaysia and Singapore, where the team will catch a flight to Perth for the arduous trans-Nullarbor to Adelaide then on to Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.
“We’re hoping to really interact with locals along the route, especially in smaller communities like Katanning, Ravensthorpe and Esperance in the West, Port Augusta, Port Pirie and Murray Bridge in South Australia, Horsham, Ballarat and Wangaratta and Wodonga in Victoria and Albury, Goulburn and Bowral n NSW, Mr Sams said.
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