Veteran and WWTW Ambassador Dan Searson Leads Historic D-Day Expedition to Return Sand to Juno Beach

Posted by Press Team

2 May 2024

Expedition | D-Day

1 min read

On June 6th, 2024, Dan Searson, a Manchester resident, veteran, and Military Ambassador for Walking With The Wounded (WWTW), will lead a poignant expedition to Juno Beach in Normandy, France.

The mission holds dual significance: to return a symbolic handful of sand taken by his late grandfather during the historic D-Day landings in June 1944 and to lend an exceptionally rare WW2 artifact, a 'Bigot Top Secret Bogus Map,' to Chartwell, Winston Churchill's former residence, to be displayed in their upcoming D-Day exhibition.

Dan's military background is extensive, having served as an Army Officer and Medical Support Officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). His deployments to Bosnia, East Africa, and the Gulf, along with his qualification as a Mountain Leader, reflect his diverse experiences. Upon leaving the Armed Forces, Dan founded 'Challenge The Wild,' an organisation offering specialised outdoor activities.

However, Dan faced challenges upon transitioning to civilian life, grappling with chronic pain, anxiety, and guilt stemming from his wartime experiences. Seeking support, he underwent treatment through NHS Op COURAGE veteran well-being service and the King Edward VII Pain Management course. His journey inspired him to advocate for veterans' well-being and empower them to embrace life post-service.

Reflecting on his mission, Dan Searson, founder of Challenge The Wild, said “I’m passionate about advocating for veterans and supporting them towards a brighter future. At Challenge The Wild, we emphasise moving forward from the past, embracing one's situation, and finding strategies for success. I am also proud to be a Military Ambassador for WWTW and to be working alongside an organisation dedicated to empowering veterans.”

“I am looking forward to being part of history and leading the D-Day expedition team to Normandy in June, to return sand taken by my late Grandfather from Juno beach during WW2. It's a profound honour to carry out this mission, symbolically closing a chapter on behalf of my Grandfather.”

Dan's dedication led him to join WWTW as a Military Ambassador in 2022, furthering his commitment to supporting fellow veterans.

Learn more about the D-Day expedition

The Expedition team will embark on a 4-day, 150km hike visiting all the Normandy Landing sites. The route will take in Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches, as well as important monuments and memorials of the campaign.

Visit the expedition website