Ex-soldier from Preston marches on Remembrance Sunday with Blind Veterans UK
5 November 2015 16:14
A former soldier from Lancashire marched with other blind veterans to the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday for Blind Veterans UK.
Robert Waller, 73, joined more than 100 other representatives of Blind Veterans UK, which this year celebrates its 100 years of service to vision impaired ex-Service men and women.
Robert served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC), now the Royal Logistics Corps, from 1962 until 1988. He was attached to different regiments including 659 Army Air corps, 40 Royal Engineers and the 42 Brigade with whom he served in Germany, Bahrein, Lebanon, Cyprus, Belgium and Northern Ireland. Robert was discharged as a Warrant Officer Class II, which is the second highest rank for a non-commissioned officer.
Robert says: "Working in the RAOC we supplied everything from soldier uniforms to munition and vehicles. You could walk into the Army naked and we would supply you with everything you needed."
Whilst serving with the Army, Robert suddenly lost his sight while driving into work and he never got his sight back. He was later diagnosed with macular degeneration.
After he left the Army, Robert worked at his local blind society for several years. It was there he learned of Blind Veterans UK by accident from a fellow veteran who he'd already known for two years.
Robert started receiving help and support from Blind Veterans UK in 1992. He has been for several weeks of training at one of the charity's training centres in Brighton and has received specialist equipment from the charity to allow him to continue to live as independently as possible.
Robert says: "The support Blind Veterans UK provide is great. I try to promote it wherever I can and have referred two people to the charity from my local acoustic shooting club."
Robert's wife Margaret also feels very positive about the charity's support, she says: "Blind Veterans UK has been a tremendous help for my husband but they've also been good to me. I accompany him to many things and it's interesting to see what they get up to as well as it's been a way for me to meet and get in touch with other wives who are in the same position."
Robert marched for the tenth time to the Cenotaph and marched together with more than 100 other blind veterans on Remembrance Sunday for Blind Veterans UK.
Robert says: "I think it's incredibly important to honour the First and Second World War. We wouldn't be here without those who gave up their lives for our freedom.
"The companionship among the veterans marching with Blind Veterans UK is poignant and it was great to be able to pay my respects for the tenth time this year."