Heroes take flight again

Falkirk veteran Jim Kettles enjoyed a microlight flight with Help for Heroes
Falkirk veteran Jim Kettles enjoyed a microlight flight with Help for Heroes

Falkirk veteran Jim Kettles took to the skies in what was a Scottish first – microlight sessions aimed at servicemen in rehabilitation.

Flying for Freedom works with the charity Help for Heroes and the Endeavour Fund of the Royal Foundation to organise post-recovery flying activities to inspire those in rehabilitation and support wounded, injured and sick veterans through microlight flying training.

Jim, who served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from 1991 to 1995, said: “It was an amazing experience I would recommend to anyone. Once you’re up there, it’s fantastic, a feeling of total freedom.”

Jim suffered cold weather injuries following a training exercise in freezing conditions and was later diagnosed with PTSD after leaving the services. He says the condition wasn’t properly recognised and there was little support.

He has since rebuilt his life, joining Help for Heroes’ Band of Brothers, and is now studying at university, volunteering and presenting on a new radio statio, Stirling City Radio.

Mary Wilson, Band of Brothers’ coordinator, said: “It is possible to fly with almost any disability and your inner strength and confidence comes to the fore. I’d recommend anybody to have a go.”

The Band of Brothers (BoB) provides lifelong support to those who have sustained a career limiting/ending injury during or attributable to service. Anyone who needs support can call Phoenix House on 01748 834148. Contact Mary on 07773593317 or email mary.wilson@helpforheroes.org.uk