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Never give up!

Discussion in 'Special Forces' started by Rover, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Toby Gutteridge was left paralysed after being shot in Afghanistan but is helping others change their lives

    Tara Russell


    A SPECIAL forces soldier left paralysed after he was shot in the neck has told how he has realised the definition of bravery – since leaving the military.

    It was November 13, 2009 Toby Gutteridge's life changed forever.

    The extreme sports enthusiast who served for the Poole-based elite Special Boats Service (SBS) was shot during a special operation in Afghanistan, severing his spinal cord and paralysing him from the neck down instantly.

    But Toby defied the odds to survive and though he is ventilated and uses a wheelchair, he is determined to live life to the full - and make a difference.

    The 32-year-old has completed a college course, is undertaking a degree in business studies and has now launched a business from his Poole home to support underprivileged youngsters and veterans of the armed forces.

    Toby hopes his determination to set up extreme sports clothing brand Bravery, through which he will donate funds to charities close to his heart, will serve as proof to others that anything is possible.

    He explained: “I never really thought of the word bravery and what it stood for when I was in the military.

    "I found the military quite straight forward because I loved it so much and you are trained for your job even though it is dangerous.

    "It was actually only after I had been injured that I have realised exactly what bravery is. To get up in the morning and face your worst fears and do something that doesn't come easy, that's bravery."

    The former marine who passed SBS selection aged 23 said: "I wanted to be the best of the best and I developed a determination to push my limits. Some people are made for the special forces but very few. It really does test you physically and mentally to make sure you are the right person. I was extremely passionate about what I did."

    Toby, who is originally from South Africa and was a keen surfer and motocross racer, became injured when he was shot in the shoulder while serving in Afghanistan.

    He was given the opportunity to return home but he wanted to stay with the squadron - a decision which led to his career ending in the most abrupt way imaginable.

    Weeks later he was shot in the neck. He was airlifted to Camp Bastion before being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where he remained in a coma for weeks and his loved ones were told to prepare for the worst.

    Toby, who received a mention in despatches for his bravery, said: "It was bad luck to be shot but I was lucky to be alive.

    "It was a total curve ball to realise my injuries. I guess I had to take a bit of a step back, re-evaluate and find that core belief inside me that the military instilled - to not give up, to carry on fighting to carry on being brave and to move forward no matter how hard or tough things get.

    http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/ne...k_and_left_paralysed_but_life_is_for_living_/
     
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  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    Inspirational stuff. There must be something in the water in South Africa, I've met a fair few who go on to join UKSF, a tough bunch.
     
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  3. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    Aye. It's stuff like that, that makes you wonder why anyone would have cause to complain in their life.
     
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  4. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Not forgetting the odd Australian who came over and joined the SBS.

    Chris Brogan, 62, took on 26.2miles of Bournemouth Marathon


    A POOLE man was the only wheelchair racer to take on the full 26.2miles of the Bournemouth Marathon.

    Chris Brogan, 62, decided he was going to sign up to the first-ever event, as he continually trains six days a week using a wheelchair, hand-cycle and by going swimming.

    Over 26 miles later and he finished the challenge as the third competitor across the finish line.

    He was raising money for Help For Heroes, after being part of the Royal Marines and a member of the SBS, until he retired in 1991 from an injury during a climbing incident.

    Chris, who was supported by wife, Kathy, said: “It was a good. I’ve taken part in marathons and races before, with the last one being the Berlin Marathon in 2011.

    He said: “I think it’s easier on me using a hand-cycle and is tougher on the runners, because of the physicality of the challenge.

    “It’s ongoing with my training, which I do six days a week, so the event was local and I decided to give it a go. It was a bit of a practice run.

    “It’s a good course in Bournemouth, with great views along the way, and the crowd has been fantastic.”

    http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/ne...nly_wheelchair_racer_in_Bournemouth_Marathon/
     
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  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    Yep, Oz & NZ also seem to have had a disproportionately high representation in UKSF in relation to the numbers serving generally.

    Maybe it's just because the accent stands out, maybe they're just nails :D
     
  6. Illustrious

    Illustrious Royal Marines Commando - Moderator

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    Ive always maintained that the west as a whole is pretty soft generally. Hard upbringings brings up hard people. The average 'Sarf Efrikan' that I've had the pleasure of working with have for the most part grown up in very austere conditions.

    I've found the same with the Gurka lads that Ive worked with. The mountain village lads were nails to the last man, whereas the city raised gurka's were soft in comparison.
     
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  7. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    Funnily enough, the same appears to be the case with regard townies & country folk joining the Royal Marines. I was talking to @CHUB! about this recently & we both noticed that the more rural the area, the higher the number of RM applicants, it seems.

    It's not a hard & fast rule but we often seem to get proportionally more successful RM applicants from those living a more "outdoors" lifestyle.