Help veterans like Ron march at the Cenotaph this Remembrance Sunday

Local veteran Ron is getting set to march at the Cenotaph in London with more than 100 other of his blind veteran comrades.

64-year-old Ron from Berkshire 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 Ron, to march.

Ron was in the Army from September 1969 to March 1979, serving in the Royal Artillery as a gun commander. He says: “I served in Lippstadt, Germany, which was awesome as I’d actually more or less grown up in Germany due to the fact that my father was based there. It was like a home away from home.”

Ron Jury

Ron also completed a number of tours of Northern Ireland and did a short tour of Cyprus with the UN. As a gun commander, Ron had a crew of six and worked in equipment maintenance and servicing. Of his Service, Ron says: “You tend to forget the bad times and focus on the good times, but even then I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. If I could do it over again, I’d do it exactly the same, just for a little bit longer!”

"Remembrance means everything to me. I grew up in the Army so those are what my earliest memories are of. Remembrance, for me, is a time to think about the men in the trenches, on the front line paying the ultimate price. These are people who are doing it for their mates next to them. That’s real love, isn’t it?"

Specsavers stores are helping get our 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 was not until August 2009 that Ron lost his sight as a result of a stroke, which in turn led to hemianopia. Ron was left with no vision in his right eye and what he describes as ‘blotches’ in his left. He explains:

"It was tough, I won’t lie. I felt like that was it for me, that I’d be confined to an armchair for the rest of my life. I became depressed as a result."

Ron first came across Blind Veterans UK when his eye clinic liaison officer recommended he get in touch. Ron recalls: “Initially I was dubious that the charity was just for younger veterans who’d been blinded while serving, but as soon as I got down to the charity’s Brighton centre for my induction week, I was put at ease. There were lots of people milling around, anxiously, many of them looking just like me.”

You too can make sure Ron 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.

"Within ten minutes it was like we were back at home! The charity treated us with civility and dignity and by the time we’d reached the end of the induction course I was a different person. I felt 30 years younger. They’d given me my confidence and self-worth back."

You too can make sure Ron 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.

"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.