I don’t know where I’d be with­out this life­line... I was in such a dark place

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The People - - NEWS FEATURES - He­roes Christ­mas Ap­peal by Nicola Small

EVEN af­ter leav­ing a war zone, hero John Borge was still go­ing through hell – and was on the verge of end­ing it all.

It was De­cem­ber 2016, he was penniless and his four-year-old son Noah was about to ar­rive for Christ­mas.

John’s dis­abil­ity ben­e­fit had been cut and the ex-army cor­po­ral was haunted by a deadly friendly fire at­tack in Iraq.

But the Vet­er­ans Char­ity threw him a life­line. It de­liv­ered ev­ery­thing he needed – in­clud­ing a tree, dec­o­ra­tions, food and a voucher to buy his son a gift.

John, 39, who has post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der, said: “I don’t know where I’d be with­out the Vet­er­ans Char­ity. I was in such a dark place I had be­come sui­ci­dal.

“All that stopped me was the prom­ise I made to my son to al­ways be there for him.” This year we are ask­ing our gen­er­ous read­ers to help the Vet­er­ans Char­ity reach many more peo­ple like John who are strug­gling de­spite risk­ing their lives for our coun­try.

Ter­rors

John left the Queen’s Royal Lancers in 2010 af­ter 13 years dur­ing which he did three tours of Iraq and one of Afghanistan.

In 2003 he saw a com­rade’s face burn and col­lapse dur­ing a friendly fire tragedy. One sol­dier was scarred for life, two more died.

John suf­fers ter­ri­fy­ing flash­backs and night ter­rors and the PTSD ru­ined his mar­riage to wife Emma.

In 2015 he was given a home in Manch­ester, done up on the BBC show DIY SOS, where the pa­tio slabs were laid by Prince Harry.

The firm em­ploy­ing John as a builder went bust this sum­mer.

Each Vet­er­ans Char­ity ham­per costs about £200 and ar­rives the week be­fore Christ­mas. The char­ity re­ceives re­fer­rals from char­i­ties such as the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion but it can also re­ceive self-re­fer­rals – via an on­line form www.vet­er­an­schar­ity.org.uk. Meat dish or a veg al­ter­na­tive, veg, sauces, gravy, stuff­ing, foil and cook­ing oil, crack­ers, sweets choc se­lec­tion, snacks, bread, but­ter, cheese and milk, soft drinks, tea and cof­fee, pasta, rice, tinned sauces and veg, soups, baked beans, minced beef, frozen chicken fil­lets, sausages, fish cakes, fresh fruit and salad, wash­ing liq­uid and toi­let rolls

5ft pre-lit tree, dec­o­ra­tions, in­clud­ing chil­dren’s crafts, gift card to buy presents, wrap­ping pa­per and gift tags

TRAU­MATIC: John in Iraq in 2003 PA­TIO PRINCE: Harry helps on BBC’S DIY SOS SEASONS EATINGS Ham­per was a life­saver for John Borge

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.