Former Royal Marine from Gosport with severe PTSD heading to Israel to compete in 2022 Veteran Games

A FORMER Royal Marine who suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is set to compete at the 2022 Veteran Games and Conference.

Thursday, 5th May 2022, 4:31 pm

Lieutenant Colonel Joe Winch joined the military in 2002 and served all over the world during his career, including two deployments to Afghanistan.

As a result of his experiences, the 43-year-old was diagnosed with complex PTSD and hearing problems in 2017 and was medically discharged from the military in 2021.

The father-of-four who lives with his wife Amy and their children in Alverstoke, says his PTSD remains ‘extremely challenging’ for him.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Lieutenant Colonel Joe Winch in Afghanistan while serving in the Royal Marines

He said: ‘It prohibits a full life – dramatically limiting my capacity for being a husband and father, as well as my independence, employment, socially and beyond.’

‘One of the biggest challenges since leaving the military has been accepting and acknowledging the severity and longevity of my injuries – particularly the PTSD.

Read More

Read More
Paulsgrove school boy with cerebral palsy has his world transformed thanks to ga...

‘As well as living at home peacefully – which requires constant and careful management of my symptoms.

Joe Winch from Gosport with his family

‘That said, I am happy and physically healthy and very grateful to be here still battling away.’

Before leaving the military he summited Denali – the highest mountain in North America – as well as the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest.

He also helped to set up Climb 2 Recovery, a charity that offers veterans climbing courses to help with both physical and mental recovery.

First held in 2019, The Veteran Games recognise the fundamental role played by sport and family in supporting the ongoing recovery of veterans who have suffered physical and psychological challenges as a result of serving their country.

Lt Col Winch, a beneficiary of the Royal Marines Charity who selected him to take part in the Veteran Games, will travel to Israel with his family.

‘We are really looking forward to attending the Veterans Games,’ he said.

‘I have really wanted to visit Israel for many years and to visit as part of such a wonderful programme, with my family, is a real privilege and honour.

‘It’s also very difficult for us to go on holiday as a family now, because of my condition and our financial situation since my injuries and medical discharge, so this is a rare but very exciting opportunity.

“I am particularly looking forward to meeting the other veterans and their families, to learn about their circumstances, and – of course – to get involved with as much of the sport as possible.’

This year’s Veteran Games and Conference will take place from May 29 to June 3 in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Israel.

The British contingent includes 65 wounded, sick and injured Armed Forces veterans and their families.

Families will also have the chance to meet and share common experiences in a relaxed and supportive environment while enjoying social activities and cultural events.

The Games will be held at a pioneering state-of-the-art facilities run by the charity Beit Halochem, which offers rehabilitation, sports and recreation centres and lifelong care for disabled veterans and their families in Israel.