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 - Mark Watson - Army charity

Mark suffered in silence for 28 years

Read why Mark is running in this year's gruelling Marathon des Sables.

Mark joined the Royal Engineers in 1987 but was medically discharged a year later. He had fallen behind in his training due to an injury and was left feeling disadvantaged and isolated from his fellow team of soldiers. This ultimately led to the deterioration of his mental health. He suffered in silence from PTSD for 28 years before ‘finding’ Walking With The Wounded.

“It is very difficult to describe the pain of reliving a trauma and the hard road to recovery, but without this charity I would not be here today and my 2 sons would go through life knowing they couldn't do anything to help," said Mark. "WWTW organised the best help and clinical therapy for me and were with me every step of the way through some very dark times."

WWTW was able to provide Mark with the support he needed to get back on his feet and be independent again after leaving the Armed Forces. "Two years on and I am extremely happy. Facing life with a purpose, a realisation that I am actually worthy and I do have a future".

Mark will be running the gruelling Marathon des Sables to raise vital funds to support other ex-servicemen and women like him in April this year. Deemed the 'Toughest Footrace on Earth' by the Discovery Channel, this ultra-marathon sees participants tackling 6 marathons in 6 days, in the blistering heat of the Sahara Desert.  Not only will he be running more than 250km over sand dunes and rocky jebels, but Mark will have to be completely self-sufficient, carrying all of his kit on his back. To top it off, the infamous 'double day' sees participants run two marathons back-to-back through the night and day.

"We often forget that these individuals have put their lives on the line to defend not only our country, but individuals all around the world. They do it without hesitation, without question and yet so many come home with invisible scars that are hard to heal," said Mark, who is passionate to support those in the same position that he was. If you would like to support Mark with his fundraising efforts, please click here to donate to his JustGiving page.