Hero ex-sol­diers ride the coun­try

Bay News - - NEWS - Re­becca Mauger Se­nior re­porter

This Oc­to­ber you may see some nifty look­ing tan­dem bi­cy­cles and riders whizzing through Tau­ranga.

As cool as the bikes look, each one of its riders has a har­row­ing tale to tell.

This is Op­er­a­tion Ride 2018 in full flight. It’s our cover story this week, about Dave Ben­fell and other ex-mil­i­tary who join theUK’s Pil­grim Ban­dits char­ity bike rid­ing the length of the coun­try to raise aware­ness and fundraise for se­verely in­jured ex-sol­diers.

Chat­ting with Dave, it oc­curred to me that so­ci­et­y­may have lost sight of our mod­ern day sol­diers and in­jured ar­mies.

Dave doesn’t want exser­vice­men to be for­got­ten and has cre­ated char­ity Sol­diers, Sailors, Air­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion of New Zealand (SSAANZ) which helps ex­sol­diers and their men­tal and phys­i­cal well­be­ing through phys­i­cal ex­er­cise, ad­ven­ture and fun.

If you see them rid­ing by, give the men and women on bikes a wave— they have sac­ri­ficed a lot.

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