Disabled British Veteran About to Cross the Finish Line

Phil Packer –Army Maj. Phil Packer, Adjutant General’s Corps, Royal Military Police, that is — plans to cross the finish line of the London Marathon on Saturday… nearly two weeks after it began.

It’s no secret that I have opposed the war in Iraq since it began. Yet I wish to make no point other than that Phil Packer is a hero in my view. He made his commitments. He served — and continues to serve — with great faith and conviction. He has my humble respect and I wish to help spread news of his achievements simply to illustrate the integrity of one man… one human who has triumphed over incredible challenge to inspire others around him to do the same.

WAKE UP, my friends… PURSUE your passions… LOVE deeply… don’t compromise your INTEGRITY.

From: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/05/07/veteran.marathon/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

Disabled veteran closes in on London Marathon finish

By Richard Allen Greene

LONDON, England (CNN) — Last summer, Phil Packer was told he would probably never walk again. On Saturday, he plans to finish the London Marathon.

Employees of the law firm SJ Berwin cheer for Maj. Phil Packer, who was told he'd never walk again.

Employees of the law firm SJ Berwin cheer for Maj. Phil Packer, who was told he’d never walk again.

He’ll be the last one done. For everyone else, the race ended 13 days earlier.

Packer has been walking on crutches for two miles a day, the most his doctor will allow, to raise money for charity.

His goal: £1 million ($1.5 million) for Help for Heroes, a British non-profit supporting wounded veterans. Packer, whose full title is Army Maj. Phil Packer, Adjutant General’s Corps, Royal Military Police, has been a beneficiary of the military-focused charity.

On Thursday, an Army band, red-coated and bearskin-hatted, played in his honor as he reached the Tower of London, 12 days into his walk.

The marathon is only part of his project, he says. In February, he rowed the English Channel, and next month, he plans to climb El Capitan, one of America’s iconic mountaineering sites. It’s a 3,000-foot vertical rock formation in California.

The idea to take on the three challenges for charity came to him while he was in a hospital for more than four months last year following a serious injury in Iraq, he says.

“I needed and wanted to be able to move on in life,” he says. “I wanted to do something for other personnel who had been wounded.

“I don’t want to be helped. I want to help other people. Not that I’m not grateful, but … you know,” he says, an apologetic smile forming as he makes his way up the north bank of the Thames River, along the marathon course. “I really want to be able to help people.”

It is perhaps not a thought that would occur to everyone in Packer’s shoes.

The 36-year-old was wounded in the aftermath of a rocket attack on his base in Basra, Iraq, in February 2008. A vehicle rolled down a sand bank, striking Packer “head on” and dragging him under it, he says.

“There was no one in it,” he says.

He steps off a curb onto the street: Right crutch, right leg, left crutch, left leg.

“It was just one of those things,” he says. “These things happen.”

Read the entire story: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/05/07/veteran.marathon/index.html?eref=rss_topstories


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