Blind Leeds veteran to march in London

VETERAN: Simon Brown
VETERAN: Simon Brown
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An Iraq war veteran who was blinded in conflict will march at the Cenotaph in London this Remembrance Sunday.

Simon Brown, 38, will join more than 100 other blind veterans who are being supported by Blind Veterans UK - the national charity for vision-impaired ex-service men and women.

The veteran, from Morley, is also being supported by Selby Specsavers, which is raising money from November 6 to 12 to fund the march.

Simon said: “It is a huge privilege to march with veterans and service personnel from all generations and conflicts. We have a shared sense of being and are all there for the same reason. A massive thank you from all of us has to go to Blind Veterans UK and the Specsavers stores that make it possible.

“It is always very emotional and during the two minutes’ silence I think about my time in the service and all the people I served with. My mind particularly goes to the family of a great friend and mentor who sadly lost his life in service for his country.”

Simon joined the Army in 1997 as a mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. On December 6, 2006, while on tour in Iraq as a Corporal, he successfully led a mission to rescue six stranded soldiers in Basra, but was shot in the face by a sniper.

Simon was given emergency treatment and put into an induced coma. He woke up 17 days later to the news that his left eye was destroyed and there was little hope for sight in his right eye.

Since then, he has received free practical support - including a rehabilitation programme to help him adjust to sight loss - from Blind Veterans UK. He now works with charitable and voluntary organisations. Specsavers is collecting in-store donations or you can donate online at blindveterans.org.uk/helpsimon.

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