A GIANT sportsman who served his country on the rugby field has put his weight behind the charity supporting those who have done the same in combat.
World Cup winner and former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio visited the Leatherhead home of Combat Stress, where military veterans receive treatment for psychological conditions related to their service career.Mr Dallaglio went to the Tyrwhitt House short-stay treatment centre to meet veterans and staff and tour the facility.
He said: “Today has been quite a moving and humbling experience for me. It’s always flattering when rugby fans refer to players as heroes but the people I have met today are the real heroes, not someone who plays sport for a living.“It has been incredible listening to their stories and finding out more about the charity from the staff and veterans here today.”
The charity cares for men and women suffering from depression, anxiety, phobias or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of their time in the armed forces.Since 2005, the number of veterans seeking its help has risen by 72%. There is currently a caseload of more than 4,600 people, including 159 who served in Afghanistan and 517 in Iraq.
Mr Dallaglio added: “So many people think of war veterans returning from active service with physical injuries but it’s staggering to hear the growing number of men and women who suffer from psychological injuries.“People who try and return to living a normal life but are unable to cope with the effects of war and fighting for our country, these are the people who deserve our respect and support.”
Combat Stress is one of four charities benefiting from the London Wasps St George’s Day match against Bath, and current player Josh Lewsey is an appeal board member for the charity’s Enemy Within Appeal.
This article was written by Guy Martin for Get Surrey, meanwhile Combat Stress are holding a St George's day event of their own in the city of Manchester, to hopefully raise allot of money and awareness for this vital service! Please check out my earlier post Support Our Services, where you can find out more information and hopefully come along and to see what other events maybe going on in your area also check out http://www.combatstress.org.uk/