Bearing up to share some of the pain

DOES walking a marathon distance carrying a stretcher with 50kg on it sound like fun?

Maybe not, but teams in Gunnedah will undertake the challenge next month to raise money and awareness of Australian military personnel hurting after serving their nation.

The Sharing The Load stretcher carry from Gunnedah Rugby Club to Curlewis is in aid of Wandering Warriors, a non-profit organisation working to secure ongoing funding for the care and support of our veterans and their families.

The focus is on the younger generation of veterans from Australia’s more recent military commitments and theatres of war.

Organiser Greg Sams, of Battle PT 2380, has plenty of reasons to support the cause as he has a military background, having served in 3RAR as a paratrooper and was also a physical training instructor at the Royal Military College.

“I wanted to support Wandering Warriors because of my friends who are in still,” he said.

“I really looked at the organisations around and I’m really big on the non-profit thing.”

This is Australia’s first stretcher carry over a marathon distance and there are teams from Gunnedah, Brisbane and Sydney who have already signed up for the September 13 challenge.

“I just think that if I can’t hurt for eight hours while the boys are over there hurting, then there’s something wrong,” Mr Sams said.

Mr Sams said they would not just hand the money over the organisation, he wanted to know exactly where the money was going.

“I’ve made it very clear that the money is not just going to be handed over, but we would like to know what it would be used for, whether it was going to a family or an amputee or whatever,” he said.

The event has been endorsed by the Chief of Army, David Morrison, and many military units around Australia have thrown their support behind it.

To get involved, contact Battle PT 2380 on Facebook or show your support by buying a T-shirt from Ignite in Tamworth or buy tickets to the cocktail dinner after the walk from Bibs ’n’ Ribs in Tamworth.

The marathon walk is on September 13 between Gunnedah and Curlewis and the dinner will be at Gunnedah Rugby Club from 7 o’clock that night, including guest speakers and a charity auction.

GRIN AND BEAR IT: Stretcher carriers Victoria Driscoll, Krysten Barros, Greg Sams and Jason Tobin will hurt for military personnel hurting after active service and would love more support. Photo: Gareth Gardner  010814GGA03

GRIN AND BEAR IT: Stretcher carriers Victoria Driscoll, Krysten Barros, Greg Sams and Jason Tobin will hurt for military personnel hurting after active service and would love more support. Photo: Gareth Gardner 010814GGA03

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