Bike Tours for the Wounded

Gary – Wild West Tour September 2016

Steve Ford

The tour was amazing, and I don’t mean I had a ball touring across the Wild West on the back of a Harley, although yes in all fairness that was amazing! I mean the tour was life changing in a way that I never thought possible.

After being discharged from the Army in 2014 with PTSD I never thought I would be able to work again, I had become a virtual recluse, with my symptoms and medication ruling everything I did. I lost all self confidence in my abilities and therefore “retired” my professional registration as a qualified Emergency Care Nurse.

Medication allowed me to sleep and control symptoms but left me confused, sleepy and withdrawn. Some of you may say no change there then! I received treatment from Combat Stress and the NHS which calmed a lot of the symptoms but I was still left emotionally ill.

After the tour I came home and didn’t really notice any difference in myself, although Sharlene did. She said I was more positive and “happy”. Something I haven’t been for a number of years! As the weeks progressed I noticed a change in myself, I was becoming more positive, more outgoing and definitely happier. I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel and the brighter it got, the happier I have become.

Proof of the pudding? I have now re applied to get my Nursing Registration back and applied for a Return to Nursing course starting in the new year, with a view to returning to full time by the summer. I am now completely medication free and I am definitely able to control the symptoms of PTSD.

As I said at the beginning of this post, the tour and BT4TW have been life changing!

I learnt from Darren Clover, who runs BT4TW that nearly all of the veterans costs are met by charitable donations from the public, friends and family of veterans. I don’t think I will ever be able to thank BT4TW enough but if my story has touched you please donate.