Wiltshire army veteran rides out to say thanks

Steve Stone with his trike and Bill Common, secretary of SSAFA

Steve Stone with his trike and Bill Common, secretary of SSAFA

First published in News
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Army veteran Steve Stone has organised a 70-mile motorbike ride to mark 70 years since Operation Market Garden to raise money for a forces charity that helped him through hard times.

Mr Stone, from Bromham, served 13 years in the Army, with several tours of Northern Ireland and a tour of Bosnia with the 22nd Cheshire Regiment.

He left the Army in 1997, but developed post traumatic stress a few years later, which soon led to him becoming homeless.

Wiltshire Council was able to set him up in a hostel and soon a home and he was directed to SSAFA, a charity that provides lifelong support for the forces and their families.

The ride-out on September 14 will tour the Wiltshire Airfields used in 1944, including Lyneham, Wroughton and Keevil, and raise funds for SSAFA.

Mr Stone said: “It is great to support the cause. I got post traumatic stress disorder from Bosnia. SSAFA were there for mental support and also helped me get everything for my flat.”

Riders will set off from The Kings Arms pub in Hilperton and go through Bathampton, Box, Corsham, Chippenham, Calne, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon and Devizes, before returning to Hilperton.

It is expected that more than 100 riders will take part. Every rider has to pay £10 and will get a SSAFA T-shirt to wear on the day.

Mr Stone is retired and suffers from rheumatoid spondylitis due to injuries from an accident during his time in Bosnia. He rolled a small armoured tank down a cliff that was covered in ice and snow, fracturing his neck and back and sustaining acid burns to the face and neck.

His injuries mean riding a motorbike is too painful so he will be leading the convoy on his trike, which has been custom made to fit a wheelchair on the back for his partner Susan Dunn, who lost the use of her left side when she suffered a stroke during an operation for a brain haemorrhage.

For more details visit http://ssafa-wilts.com/events.html

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