Golf charity changed war hero's life

First published in News

A Neyland war hero who lost his left eye in an anti-tank mine explosion says his life has changed since being introduced to an innovative new charity.

Dave Onions was serving in the Royal Engineers in Bosnia in 1994 when a Land Rover he was travelling in with two other soldiers drove over an anti-tank mine which exploded.

The force of the explosion sent shrapnel flying everywhere and the Land Rover was lifted into the air.

Dave lost his left eye when a piece of shrapnel damaged it and he now wears a prosthetic.

The 48-year-old said: “We were lucky we were in a Land Rover and not a tank otherwise we would have died.”

Dave received a letter of commendation in December 1994 for his bravery and continued to serve as a Welfare Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) before leaving the Army in 2004.

Dave and his wife Vicki moved to Neyland in 2005 and run the Old Cottage Pizza Company in Haverfordwest.

A member of Milford Haven Golf Club, Dave was introduced to the On Course Foundation for ex-servicemen, which concentrates on rehabilitation and employment through golf.

Now an ambassador for the charity, Dave has travelled the world playing on some of the most exclusive courses and meeting golf legends including Arnold Palmer, patron of the charity.

Dave said: “The charity is doing such an amazing job, not only has it improved my golf but it has given me back that sense of camaraderie that I had lost and given me the opportunity to help aspiring golfers. My life just changed.

“You don’t realise the number of injured servicemen, many left with horrific injuries both physical and mental.”

Dave is keen to get local golf clubs involved in hosting charity days and any wounded military personnel or veterans who play golf or would like to learn can find out more at www.oncourse foundation.com.

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