THE grieving mother of special forces veteran Danny Johnston is urging people to back a new foundation in memory of her son.
Viv Johnston issued the rallying cry in support of the Danny Johnston Foundation.
Set up in the wake of her son’s tragic death, the organisation hopes to lobby the government for change to provide additional life-saving aid for needy veterans.
In its mission statement, the group aims to raise money to pay for more counsellors for those leaving the military.
And it hopes to provide faster help for veterans battling mental health in an effort to drive down suicide rates among military leavers.
As part of the group’s opening salvo it has launched a petition which, if enough people back it, could lead to a debate in parliament.
Mrs Johnston said: ‘This is about saving lives immediately. This is the difference between life and death for a lot of people.
‘There are so many people out there who need help – one person (with a military background) takes their lives every 11 days. It is absolutely crucial we get this sorted as soon as possible.’
Danny served with Hampshire’s local army unit, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment before joining the Special Reconnaissance – the sister unit of the SAS.
He died in May of this year after going missing from his family home in Bognor.
On Sunday, August 26, a fundraising football match, featuring a number of celebrities and sporting stars, will be held to raise cash for the foundation. Known as Danny’s Day, it will be held at Bognor Football Club, in Nyewood Lane from 10am. Tickets range from £10 for adults to £5 for under-18s.
Mrs Johnston has also teamed up with Walking With The Wounded, which is staging a walk and cycle ride in honour of Danny on September 1. For details, see walkingwiththewounded.org.uk
For more information on the foundation, search ‘Danny Johnston Foundation’ on Facebook.