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£1million challenge for paralysed soldier

PUBLISHED: 14:50 18 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:08 25 August 2010

Date: 22 May 08
Location: Hannover Airport
Event:  Operation Telic 11
Category:  Operations
Photographer: Corporal Mark Nesbit RLC
Caption: On the evening of 22 May 08 members of 115 Provost Company Royal Military Police (RMP) and the 1st Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) arrived at Hannover airport, in Northern Germany after completing a six month tour of operations in Iraq.  There to welcome the troops from 4 Brigade was Colonel Mark Cuthbert-Brown, the Brigade Deputy Commander, who shook each soldiers hand as they stepped back on home soil.  Also there to welcome the RMP soldiers home was Major Phil Packer, the Officer Commanding of the company, who due to a tragic accident whilst on operations had come over from the UK to welcome his soldiers home.

Date: 22 May 08 Location: Hannover Airport Event: Operation Telic 11 Category: Operations Photographer: Corporal Mark Nesbit RLC Caption: On the evening of 22 May 08 members of 115 Provost Company Royal Military Police (RMP) and the 1st Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) arrived at Hannover airport, in Northern Germany after completing a six month tour of operations in Iraq. There to welcome the troops from 4 Brigade was Colonel Mark Cuthbert-Brown, the Brigade Deputy Commander, who shook each soldiers hand as they stepped back on home soil. Also there to welcome the RMP soldiers home was Major Phil Packer, the Officer Commanding of the company, who due to a tragic accident whilst on operations had come over from the UK to welcome his soldiers home.

British Crown Copyright

A PARALYSED army officer is set to raise £1 million for wounded soldiers by undertaking extreme challenges.

A PARALYSED army officer is set to raise £1 million for wounded soldiers by undertaking extreme challenges.

Major Philip Packer, 36, from Petts Wood, hopes he is recognised as the first paraplegic person to row across the Channel to raise money for Help The Heroes, last weekend.

The former Eltham College student, who completed the challenge in 15 hours, lost the use of his legs a year ago when he was hit by a vehicle during a missile attack in Basra, Iraq.

The serving Royal Military Police officer has sworn to complete any challenge thrown at him until he has raised £1 million through sponsorship.

He said: "I'm trying to get more opportunities available for injured servicemen.

"If someone offers me a challenge I will go for it and hopefully show they could be available for other wounded soldiers."

After his injury, doctors told the former Chislehurst Golf Club member, rugby player and Kent Schools high jump champion he would never walk again.

But the Red Cap defied their predictions and plans to complete the London Marathon in April, expecting his trek to take two to three weeks on crutches.

Future challenges include climbing El Capitan, a sheer-faced 3,000ft mount in Yosemite National Park, California, over four days.

He said: "I'm still a serving commissioned officer, and at Sandhurst you are told you lead by example.

"I want to get out there and show I'm still very capable even though I'm disabled.

"You have to remain positive and believe in people around you like friends, family and colleagues, and mine have been tremendous."

Since October Major Packer has raised £150,000 for Help The Heroes through challenges including skydiving and yachting.

The charity has also been supported by the family of Royal Engineer, Lance Corporal Jake Alderton, 22, from Eltham, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.

To help Major Packer raise funds, visit www.justgiving.com/philsmillion or send a cheque to Phil Packer, 4a Vincent House, Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2NB.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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