A RAF pilot is running a mile for each of the 448 soldiers killed in the Afghanistan conflict in a bid to raise funds for five charities.
Flight Lieutenant Rob Platt, formerly of Abbots Bromley, is running the equivalent of 17 marathons in 17 days with his colleagues Graeme Hunt and Tom Mountney across the south of the country.
The epic run, which will take in Royal Wootton Bassett, RNAS Yeovilton, CTC Lympstone and RAF Boscombe Down, is raising cash for Help for Heroes, Blesma, RAF Association, Combat Stress and the John Thornton Young Achievers Association.
The former Denstone College pupil, who still has family in Uttoxeter, decided to do the challenge for the troops lost in Operation Herrick after returning from a tour of Afghanistan where part of his role was taking the injured soldiers to the various hospitals.
The 38-year-old, who has three children, said: “All of us are C130J Hercules pilots and have carried many casualties in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well as completed the first part of the repatriation process.
“It is because of witnessing this first hand that we feel we should give something back to these extraordinary guys. Although we can’t help the troops who have died, we can help the ones who have been injured fighting for the safety of our country.
“As combat operation in Afghanistan is due to end this year we want to do something poignant for the guys who have not made it back. We also want to raise money for those who have made it back but in a different form to how they went out there through physical or psychological injuries.
“We are raising money for five charities who were all but one born out of the Afghanistan conflict. At the end of this year when the news starts to dry up so will the fund-raising so we want to make a significant contribution before everyone forgets them.”
The trio hopes to raise £10,000 for the charities and have reached £4,900 without Gift Aid.
Flt Lt Platt said: “We set a target to raise £10,000 which seemed optimistic but we think it can be done. We are kind of hoping it will just snowball when people see how it is going.
“I think my body is getting into a situation where it is resigned itself to its fate and is getting into a routine.
“We are simply asking people to reach in their pockets and donate whatever they can. The support has been great but it is the money that is going to change the life of a soldier coming back with no legs to get the treatment they need. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been charitable along the way and we will keep plodding on until we finish it.”
More information on sponsoring the team is available at 444run.co.uk and clicking on the link for the charity, following them on Twitter @444run or Facebook.