Forces Hero Wing Walks for Royal Marines Association

Mark Ormrod wing walking photograph by Gary HawkinsBritish forces hero and triple amputee Mark Ormrod completed a wing walk on Monday 30th June to raise funds for the Royal Marines Association.  Piloting the plane was our very own Tony Richards who grew up in Sutton Valence and used to be the Utterly Butterly wing walker pilot for air shows!

Mark took to the skies on a 1940s biplane, a Boeing Stearman, and by his side was his wife Becky who joined in the fundraising challenge.Mark explained why he took on the challenge: “This year is the Royal Marines 350th birthday and there are hundreds of serving and former Royal Marines as well as members of the Royal Marines extended family undertaking fundraising challenges worldwide in celebration and I wanted to do my part to contribute.” 

Mark Ormrod wing walking photograph by Gary Hawkins“I decided to take part in a host of mini challenges this year to try and raise £50,000 for the Royal Marines Association. So far those challenges have included a 300ft bungee jump, two back to back 15,000ft skydives and now myself and my wife Becky are having a go at wing walking. We chose the wing walk because it is something that neither of us had done before and it looked like the kind of thing that we’d enjoy.”

The adrenaline rush must have been amazing for Mark and I asked him what G-Force he had been under: ” I really have no idea what G-force I was experiencing whilst I was up there but it was a hell of a rush! It reminded me of the free fall stage of a parachute jump except it lasted a lot longer. I was a bit nervous when I first got up there as the harness set up wasn’t quite what I was expecting but once I was strapped in it was fine. My wife Becky took part as well and she loved it – she’s always been into these kind of things but wing walking was a first and something we would both highly recommend to anyone.”

Mark is himself a triple amputee but hasn’t let this disability stop him: “Life as a civilian is crazy and hectic and I actually have to work for a living now lol – but I love it. In terms of whats next I am hoping to climb Ben Nevis this year with an injured friend of mine, I’m also looking at a 10K run towards the end of the year and if there are any other opportunities that pop up between then & now which I think could be great for fund-raising then I’ll get involved if I can and push hard towards that £50,000.”

Having lived life as a Marine himself and been severely injured on active duty, Mark understands how important the work  that the Royal Marines Association carries out is.  Mark told me his story: ” I joined the Royal Marines in 2001 when I was 17, passed out of training when I was 18 and by the time I was 19 I was deployed to Iraq on Operation Telic 1. After returning from there I did various things like boxing for the Marines, deployments to Norway to undergo arctic training, I sailed on a few ships (Sir Galahad & Tristram) taking part in various exercises around the world and then in 2006 I left to pursue a career as a bodyguard. Things didn’t really work out for me so in 2007 I rejoined and was drafted to 40 Commando in Taunton. In September that year we were deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 7 and on Christmas Eve, whilst out on a routine foot patrol, I stood on an Improvised Explosive Device resulting in the amputation of both of my legs and my right arm.”
Mark has since been pursuing the target of raising £50,000 for the Association and after the wing walk has managed to raise a fantastic £12,000 towards his total with other events planned to keep the donations coming in.  If you would like t donate to the Royal Marine Association and support Mark than donate through https://www.justgiving.com/Mark-Ormrod

 

Mark Ormrod wing walking photograph by Gary Hawkins

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