A conversation between a veteran from Leeds who has injured in the war in Iraq and a five-year-old girl who did a triathlon in support of the Help for Heroes charity has been viewed more than 250,000 times.
The video, released by the charity, features young fundraiser Tempy Pattinson, from Darlington, Co Durham, telling Simon Brown, 38, why she decided to raise hundreds of pounds through her triathlon, despite being scared of riding her bike.
Mr Brown, from Morley, tells Tempy that he was shot in the face by an Iraqi sniper in 2006, leaving him virtually blind. But he adds that he is lucky to have survived.
In the film, 38-year-old Mr Brown says: “I got shot in the face but I was lucky. It’s because of the challenges you do, and the money you raise and the support you give, that people like me can get better. So that’s why people like you are our heroes.”
Tempy says: “And people like you are mine.”
The video has been viewed more than a quarter of a million times since it was posted on the Help for Heroes Facebook page.
The charity said it is the first in a series to be produced as part of its new Facing It Together campaign, which aims to show the differences that the charity’s supporters make to the lives of veterans and their families.
Tempy said she began to support Help for Heroes when she was just three. She had seen a poppy and asked her mother, Emily, about the sacrifices made by those who put their lives on the line to protect us.
Mr Brown is one of at least 66,000 ex-military personnel with life-changing injuries and illnesses in the UK who are in need of support, the charity said. Since being shot, he has endured 25 operations and hours of surgery to rebuild his shattered face.
Mark Elliott, who helped Bryn and Emma Parry set up the charity in 2007 and is current Advocacy Ambassador for Help for Heroes, said: “It is so important that people from completely different backgrounds and ages can connect through a common cause, and that is exactly what we see here. Help for Heroes is a movement and its inspiration is heroes like Simon Brown.”