Ex Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer from West Midlands to take part in Remembrance Sunday for Blind Veterans UK
21 October 2014 13:30
A former Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer from Smethwick will march together with other blind veterans this Remembrance Sunday for Blind Veterans UK.
Terry Bullingham, aged 70, joined the Royal Navy in 1960 and became part of Fleet Air Arm branch. He was serving on the HMS Antrim in the Falklands when he was hit by a cannon shell from an attacking Mirage Jet, which left him totally blind.
Terry was referred to Blind Veterans UK by the Royal Navy in 1982 where he received free and comprehensive support from the charity, including rehabilitation and training at the Blind Veterans UK's Brighton centre.
Terry says: "When you first lose your sight it's like being taken back into infancy; you can't get around, and you lose literacy. You literally have to go back to basics. However, I was inspired by the blind World War One and Two veterans I met at Blind Veterans UK. I thought, if you can crack it, I'm certainly going to! They had overcome such challenges in their lives, and yet not one of them felt any self pity. The camaraderie together with the encouragement and support from Blind Veterans UK kept me positive and I found I was able to achieve more each day."
After Terry completed his rehabilitation and training, he returned to the Royal Navy as an Information Officer at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset. He retired from the Royal Navy in 1984 and went on to become a Social Worker and Technical Officer for the blind. Terry himself became an inspiration to others, by becoming a speaker for Blind Veterans UK and gave talks to groups about his experiences.
He says: "Whilst at Blind Veterans UK I learnt about the three A's - acceptance, adjustment and achievement. I wanted to share my experiences of this wonderful charity and their commitment to so many providing lifelong support."
Terry will march with other blind veterans this Remembrance Sunday as part of the Blind Veterans UK contingent.
Terry says: "It is a privilege to be part of Remembrance Sunday. I have attended over 20 Remembrance Sundays and I will again be a part of it this year with my guide, ex-Navy Lieutenant Commander Tim Smart. I try to remember all those who lost their lives and suffered from both World Wars and other conflicts. On the parade itself I think of the 253 who perished during the Falklands War and during the silence I remember in particular former Fleet Air Arm friends and colleagues who failed to return, and their surviving families."
Our No One Alone campaign aims to reach out to more people like Terry. More than 68,000 other people could be eligible for free help and support without realising it. If you know someone who served in the Armed Forces or National Service who now suffers with sight loss, whatever the cause, visit www.noonealone.org.uk or call 0800 389 7979.