Iraq survivor Craig Lundberg thanks charity for life changing support

Date
19 March 2013 12:00

A blind ex-Service man who spent two tours in Iraq following the British invasion 10 years ago today, has thanked Blind Veterans UK for the life changing support it gave him.

A blind ex-Service man who spent two tours in Iraq following the British invasion 10 years ago today, has thanked Blind Veterans UK for the life changing support it gave him after he was blinded by a rocket-propelled grenade in a fierce rooftop firefight.

Liverpool born Craig Lundberg, 27, joined the 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster's Regiment in June 2003, trained at Harrogate, and was posted to Basra a week after his 18th birthday.

It was during his second tour in March 2007 when serving as a section commander of a recce platoon based in Basra, that he was hit by two rocket propelled grenades while searching for Iraqi insurgents just north of Basra. The accident nearly took his life, but he was saved thanks to help from surgeons in an American field hospital and doctors in a German military hospital. However the accident left Craig blind and since then Craig has become a member of Blind Veterans UK.

Craig said: "The support Blind Veterans UK has given me over the last six years has been second to none. I am very, very grateful that the charity was there for me. One of the best things it has given me has been the opportunity to meet World War Two veterans and gain inspiration from them. They were in a similar situation to me years ago, and it has been amazing to learn about all that they have achieved during their lives after becoming blind. It has also been a real support to know that Blind Veterans UK will be there to support me and my family for the rest of our lives."

Of his two tours of Iraq, Craig said: "Going out to Iraq was very exciting initially. I was young and the idea of going to fight in a war felt good as an 18 year old soldier. The comradeship was very good out there too.

"I feel proud of what we did there. We had a clear aim, an objective, and we achieved this. The peace keeping stage was much more challenging. We felt as though we were more like policemen than soldiers, with IED - Improvised Explosive Devices, also known as roadside bombs - threats coming from all over the place. Unlike the invasion stage during which there was a clear leader in Saddam Hussein whom we had to topple, during the peace keeping stage there was no such clear leader, which made things much more difficult."