Hero Simon given Paralympics ceremony honour
AS millions of television viewers saw the Paralympic Games draw to a close in spectacular style on Sunday night, one familiar Morley face could be seen right in the thick of the action.
After having already been a torch bearer in his home town, Iraq War veteran Simon Brown was given another Olympic honour when he took part in the closing ceremony.
He was one of a number of wounded ex-servicemen who have been supported by the charity Help for Heroes who took part in a moving tribute to the armed forces during the ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.
Help for Heroes has supported the Paralympics since 2008 when it founded the Battle Back programme with the MOD, so the inclusion of the Help for Heroes Band of Brothers was thought to be a natural fit.
A former Corporal with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Simon, 33, was thrilled to be given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in the Human Endeavour piece.
He was badly injured in Iraq after being shot in the face while saving the lives of six of his colleagues - the bullet which shattered his skull took most of his sight.
Since recovering from his catastrophic injurues he has embarked on numerous challenges with the aid of Help for Heroes, including a trek across the Sahara.
In June he carried the Olympic Torch on its journey through Morley as part of its relay around the country.
More recently Simon took time out from his work with The Blind Veterans Charity to attend a week of rehearsals/
“It’s been an amazing week and I am grateful to Help for Heroes for giving me the opportunity to get involved with something that I will remember for the rest of my life,” he said.
“I am a member of the Band of Brothers and it was great to meet a whole new group of members and see a few familiar faces.
“I was a torchbearer back in June, so this seemed like the perfect way to finish what has been an amazing few months of sport.”
The legacy of the Paralympics will continue for future wounded, injured and sick Paralympians through Help for Heroes supported initiatives.
Bryn Parry, Help for Heroes CEO and co-founder said: “The 2012 Games have been extraordinary, they have changed the public’s perception, they have informed, enthused and inspired.
“People now see not the injury but the achievement, they understand that you are not defined by your injury but by what you can do.
“In the years to come, people will look back and say that 2012 was a defining point; something our wounded heroes have been a part of.
“But it’s not all about medals or ceremonies, it’s about achieving the best you can in whatever you set yourself to do. These are all extraordinary people.
“We are in awe of what we see achieved on a daily basis by our wounded, we are proud and excited about what they will achieve in future.
“This is just the start, they will be inspired by what they have seen and think ‘I can do that’, London 2012 will leave a lasting legacy and we will be behind it every step of the way.”
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