Help veterans like David march at the Cenotaph this Remembrance Sunday
Local veteran David is getting set to march at the Cenotaph in London with more than 100 other of his blind veteran comrades.
93-year-old David from Kent is being supported to do this by his local Specsavers stores. The stores are raising money from 6 – 12 November to send blind veterans, including David, to march.
David joined the Royal Navy straight from school in 1938. His first operational tour was on the HMS Rodney, which had recently fought against The Bismarck; one of Germany’s most famous battleships. David trained as an ant-aircraft gun controller. David says: “I enjoyed my time in the Navy; of course, you remember the good times and forget the bad. I was fortunate enough to see quite a bit of the world, but make no mistake, it was no cruise line.”
David was discharged from the Navy as Lieutenant Commander in 1958.
"Marching on Whitehall really is something. Last year I was very proud to have marched alongside my son, who served in the Army for 15 years. It was a special occasion for us both and I’m thrilled that we’ll get to do it again this year with Blind Veterans UK. It is a privilege."
Specsavers stores are helping get blind veterans to the march
Specsavers has supported Blind Veterans UK since 2012 and, as well as raising money for our charity, has referred a number of customers so they too can access our support.
This support is crucial.
It wasn’t until later in life that David suddenly lost his sight. He explains: “I had been on holiday with my family and everything seemed as it should. When I awoke the next morning, I couldn’t see.”
David had suffered an eye haemorrhage. It was stabilised but his eyesight did not recover. He is severely vision-impaired and uses magnification aids to read. Fortunately, David was already aware of Blind Veterans UK through his brother, an existing beneficiary of the charity. David has been able to try archery, acoustic shooting and bowls, as well as receiving an introduction to IT.
I was struggling with my sight loss but Blind Veterans UK is incredibly thorough. They go through your life with a fine tooth comb to see where you are struggling and how they can help.
"I am so glad I got in touch, the charity has been helping me ever since. The induction week was great, I met so many lovely people and was able to experience many activities I thought were no longer possible. The support provided to partners and family members is also first class."
You too can make sure David and other veterans get to the Cenotaph
Book an eye test at your local Specsavers in the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday or pop by and add loose change into their donation buckets. You might even be able to get involved with an in-store event. Call your local store or ask in store for more details.
Your support means that we can cover the costs of sending our veterans to Remembrance Sunday.
From transport, to providing wheelchairs for those of our veterans who are less mobile and even hosting a lunch after the ceremony. Thank you for enabling blind veterans from across the country to meet, share their stories and support one another.
Help our veterans pay their respects
"Remembrance Sunday is always a very poignant time for our blind veterans and it is fantastic that Specsavers are able to support them to march at the Cenotaph."
Chief Executive of Blind Veterans UK, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin
Blind Veterans UK is the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, providing vital practical and emotional support to help veterans discover life beyond sight loss.
Today, Blind Veterans UK supports more blind and vision-impaired veterans than ever before in the charity’s history and we have set an ambitious target to double the number of veterans we support in the next five years.The charity estimates that there are currently 59,000 blind veterans that would be eligible to access our specialist support, most of whom are not currently aware of it.