Gosport charity raise awareness for brave veterans

GUSTING winds didn't stop scores of people help raise awareness for post traumatic stress disorder.

Monday, 5th September 2016, 6:00 am
Martyn Webb, a former Chief Petty Officer PTI, lead the Oakley Waterman Caravan Trust in their 22 push-ups in support of millitary personnel suffering from PTSD. Picture:: Keith Woodland

And yesterday, members of the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation were out in force at Stokes Bay, next to Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service station, to take part in the challenge in support of veterans’ mental health.

The charity was set up by parents David and Lorraine Waterman, who’s son, Oakley, died from rare a form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma in 2005.

In memory of their son, they have two caravans to provide holidays and respite for families with children who are seriously ill. David, from Gosport, said: ‘This is a way for all of us to come together to show our respects to ex-servicemen.

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‘It is good that so many people are growing the awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder.

‘There’s a lot of people here who were in the forces and it is a way of giving something back.

Dougie Leask, who served in the Falkland Islands, said: ‘I organised the event through the power of Facebook.

‘This challenge helps to highlight and bring people’s attention to such an important cause.

‘We’re showing our appreciation to the many people who have been affected by post-traumatic stress disorder.

‘I served in the Falklands and don’t know anyone who came back who wasn’t a changed man.

‘There are 22 ex-soldiers per day in America committing suicide but it is becoming easier to talk – especially after Afghanistan and Iraq.’

Martyn Webb, a former chief petty officer in the Royal Navy, said: ‘People in the First World War used to get shot in the back because they used to turn and flee.

‘It was because they had PTSD, which we now know about much more and it needs to be highlighted.’