Les was in caught in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, ending his 13 year career in The Light Dragoons. A keen mountaineer, he was awarded a Silver Medal by the Humane Society in 2016 for rescuing another climber just 500m from the Mount Everest summit.
Les joined the Army in 1997 and served operational tours in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. On his second tour of Afghanistan in 2009, he was awarded The Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for looking after casualties. Then, whilst on a patrol, he was in the vicinity of an IED explosion and peppered with shrapnel in the face, arms and legs. Les underwent several operations and is now blind in his left eye.
Les has suffered from PTSD since his medical discharge in 2010. He found the best medicine was to head into the mountains and seek solace away from his transition from military to civilian life.
In 2015, Les decided to attempt his childhood dream of conquering Mount Everest. In May 2016, just 12 hours and 500m from the summit, he selflessly turned back to save a climber who was sliding out of control towards almost certain death. He was able to get her to safety, and was subsequently awarded the Silver Medal by the Royal Humane Society for his life-saving actions.
After his discharge, we helped Les with a grant, enabling him to retrain in electrical engineering. He is now an ambassador for our charity.
Les says: “When I genuinely needed help with life after the Army, The Soldiers’ Charity stepped in and gave me the opportunity to learn a trade and earn a living.”