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Army veteran tackles extreme challenge to raise money in father's memory

The march will raise funds for Help for Heroes.

An Army veteran unable to attend his father’s funeral because of Covid-19 restrictions will honour him with a 100km march carrying 25kg on his back for charity.

David Mossop, 41, originally from Whitehaven, Cumbria, was devastated he could not give a final hug to his father, Colin, 75, who himself served in the Army in the Royal Military Police Corps – as did other family members through the generations.

He said he was “devastated” that coronavirus restrictions meant he could not travel from his present home in Germany for the funeral in February.

His resulting depression came on top of his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and survivor guilt after 12 years of service with the Royal Scots Guards and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

As part of his recovery Mr Mossop has decided to focus on the extreme challenge of a solo march in 24 hours while carrying 25kg of infantry weight in a military-style Bergen rucksack.

The march will raise funds for his father’s chosen charity of Help for Heroes.

His chosen date for the challenge of Thursday May 13 is Father’s Day in Germany, where he works for energy firm E.On.

Due to the country’s night-time Covid curfew he will do the first half of his march on a treadmill for seven hours before heading outside to complete the event.

Mr Mossop said: “I am a walking catalogue of anxiety, depression and rage. But I find a reason to keep fighting. This is why it is so important that I give back to Help for Heroes. It has saved the lives of people I dearly care about.”

Dean Williams, area fundraising manager at Help for Heroes, said: “Many of the veterans we support struggle with their mental health every day. Even though they may have experienced trauma many years ago, the impact can last for years.

“We are incredibly grateful to David for taking on this epic challenge, not only as an amazing way to honour his dad’s memory but also to help other veterans who need our support. Every pound he raises will make a difference.”

Mr Mossop has set a fundraising target of £10,000 for his challenge. More details can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fathersdaymemorialmarch

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