Nato troops from ARRC to run Cheltenham Half-Marathon
SOLDIERS from an elite Nato troop in Gloucestershire will be running the Cheltenham Half Marathon to help a charity raise money for their homeless comrades.
Up to 15 runners from the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), based in Imjin Barracks, Innsworth, will take part in the half marathon on September 15.
They will be supporting the Alabare charity, which is raising money to build a shelter for homeless ex-soldiers.
To support the project, which has raised £67,000, soldiers from ARRC are now urging members of the public to help their cause.
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Around £180,000 is needed for the 24-bed space residence.
ARRC is made up of troops from 16 different countries, with 60 per cent of the soldiers from Britain.
Soldiers from around the world at Imjin Barracks have supported their fellow comrades.
Major James Pratt, 41, has been with ARRC for three months, and said the issue needs to addressed on a national level.
“I don’t think the problem is isolated to Gloucestershire, but it is nationwide,” he said.
“It is essential to look after our veterans and doing our part to raise awareness for their situation.
“Hopefully we can raise enough money before and during the run. Within the armed forces we have a very good network of support, and we work as a team.
“When someone leaves the armed forces, they no longer are as closely linked and it can be difficult for many of them.
“I think we have to be responsible and play our part for our veterans.”
Major Tim Gittins, 37, joined the ARRC a year ago and comes from the United States.
The Charlton Kings soldier said troops should always support their veterans, anywhere in the world.
“One homeless veteran is one too many,” he added. “It is something that happens not just on a national scale, but all around the world.
“It is difficult for some of these guys and we want to be able to support them.
“When we are here it’s nice to be able to help out when we can, knowing that the money raised will be put to good use.
“It is something I am passionate about.
“I think it is an issue that needs to be addressed and any help we can give would be great.”
To support their cause, donate at my.give.net/alabare_halfmarathon.