Dan's Army's marathon effort in memory of fallen friend
12:30pm Friday 8th June 2012 in News
A team of running enthusiasts will take on the challenge of the Welsh Marathon on Sunday in memory of one "far braver and who faced challenges much tougher" than the 26 mile stretch ahead of them.
The 11 runners are all close friends of Lance Sergeant Dan Collins of Tiers Cross, who died on New Year’s Day, following a period of suffering as a result of his encounters in Afghanistan.
The team will be participating in the full and half Welsh Marathons being held in Tenby in aid of Healing the Wounds – a Welsh-based charity established to support service men and women who have suffered post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dan, aged 29, fought in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and in his final service – Afghanistan.
His comrades say they will always remember him "as a victim of war – even though the Taliban never quite managed to kill him, the vivid experiences haunted him to the point he could take no more".
Having joined the Welsh Guards at the age of 16, Dan was a passionate and proud member of the Armed Forces.
Despite being known as the joker and centre of attention, he was a loyal friend, devoted to his family and his role within the military.
He leaves behind many fond memories – ones the team say they will remember as they pound the pavements to raise money in his memory.
Debbie Robbins said: “Dan was a great friend, a true gentleman – sensitive and loyal. The times we all shared were upbeat, happy and fun – we all enjoyed a laugh, mainly at him. No one ever had a bad word to say about him, he is, and always will be, sorely missed.”
A fellow Dan’s Army member, Steve Thomas, added: “None of us have run a marathon before, so it’s a big challenge.
However, the opportunity to raise funds and, more importantly, awareness of the suffering experienced by service men and women, is far more crucial to us than aching muscles. We are determined to ensure the support is available to anyone who needs it so no other hero is lost.”
For like more information visit www.healingthe wounds.co.uk or support the team by donating via the Dan’s Army page at http://uk.virginmoney giving.com.