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Ex-SAS amputee on Asia-Australia charity ride to support PTSD victims
The Saigon Times Daily
Friday,  Jun 24, 2016,18:42 (GMT+7)

Ex-SAS amputee on Asia-Australia charity ride to support PTSD victims

The Saigon Times Daily

Laurie ‘Truck’ Sams in a file photo featuring his charity ride from Vietnam to Sydney to raise funds for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - PHOTO: AUSTRALIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN HCMC

A former Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) soldier riding from Hanoi to Sydney to support veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will be accompanied by other SAS veterans on the next five legs of his epic ride.

Laurie ‘Truck’ Sams, 67, who served with the SAS in Vietnam in 1970 before losing a leg in a parachute accident in 1995, left Hanoi on May 12 aiming to reach the steps of Sydney Opera House six months and 10,000km later on November 20.

So far he has pedaled his trusty Trek 2500km through the steamy jungles and paddy fields of Vietnam in wet season humidity dodging potholes, motorcycles, buffalos and lumbering lorries and has had the ride featured on Vietnam’s English language TV channel VTV4.

But from tomorrow Truck will be joined by ex-corporal Troy Lockyer and ex-trooper Giles Beresford-Peirse for the 1,490km leg from HCMC to Bangkok and the Thai border town of Surat Thani, where former SAS warrant officer Matt Brown will take over co-rider duties for the 1,220km leg to Singapore via Kuala Lumpur.

“These guys are younger than me and they’re super competitive, so I’m going to have to pick up the pace a bit from here on,” said Truck, in a statement. “We fly from Singapore to Perth but then there’s the Nullarbor and beyond, probably with another bunch of whip-cracking slave drivers.”  

A world champion parachutist, Truck was awarded Australia’s Star of Courage in 2001 for saving his tandem parachute student in the 1995 accident. After learning to walk with a prosthetic leg he led two trekking expeditions along the Thai section of the notorious Thai Burma Railway and has completed charity bike rides right around Asia, especially in Vietnam.

He said he set his sights on “the long ride home” to Australia as a friendship initiative between Australia and Asia, and to support injured veterans. During the ride, Truck is blown away at the number of vets suffering from PTSD and other injuries, not just from Vietnam but many other locations.

“I lost mates in Vietnam and many others are still suffering terribly, so I’m using the ride to raise money for their treatment and really shine a spotlight on their problems,” he added.

Truck said sponsors were still being sought for the ride and anyone interested in contributing could do so by opening the donations page on the ride website at www.thelongridehome.com.au.

People can also access www.facebook.com/thelongridehomeaustralia to have more information.       

 

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