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Australian Soldier Will Walk 17,000 KM To Raise Awareness And Money For Military With PTSD And Their Families

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On the 27th of September of this year, former Australian Infantry Soldier Royce “Rolls” Hardman will start an epic 17,000 plus Kilometer journey  starting in Perth, Australia and travel a counter-clockwise route around Australia with his dog Trigger. They will walk to help raise awareness and money for Australian Military PTSD sufferers and their families.   Hardman and Trigger will not have the comfort of a support crew following their every step as they conduct this solo and unsupported journey and it is estimated that it will take approximately 18 months to complete.

The Route

To help put the distance of the walk into perspective, here is the 17,000 KM (a little over 10,500 miles) walking route overlayed on a map of North America.

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The Equipment

Hardman will utilize a cart to help carry water, rations and supplies during the journey.  Trigger, Hardman’s two year-old pedigree Blue American Staffy, has a space reserved in the bottom of a custom-made cart which has been donated by Diab Engineering.  The bottom half of the cart holds two large military-style water containers and was transformed into a bed/house for Trigger by a company named Batavia Coast blinds & shade.  The cart is equipped with a solar and battery power supply which will allow Hardman to use the CB radio to stay in touch with others via UHF channels.  A photo is at the end of the article that shows the what the cart looks like after a paint job and some gear is added.

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dog-bootsTo help protect Trigger’s feet from the pavement and ground which can become extremely hot, a set of Ruffwear Grip Trex dog boots have been donated by an individual.  The boots feature an upper portion that were inspired by human shoes and a high performance Vibram sole.  These are the same style boots that are worn by Australian Police Dogs,  and Australian Army Canine Units and they are designed to protect the dog’s paw pads from broken glass, hot bitumen and concrete footpaths as well as thorns and bindi eyes.  Bindi eyes are a plant found in Australia which hve small spiky burrs that stick painfully into bare feet and could be a showstopper for Trigger if he was not protected.

Preparation and Training

11666294_910911945648233_3071018636873129285_nThis is not the first time someone has walked around Australia to raise awareness and money, just recently, Scott Loxley walked around Australia dressed in a Storm trooper costume to raise money for Monash Children’s Hospital.  In June, Hardman spoke with Loxley about his journey andas Hardman said  “I asked many questions and gained a lot of valuable knowledge”.  You can learn more about Scott Loxleys walk at the Storming Australia facebook page.

 

Fundraising

Hrdman has set a goal of $250,000 which he hopes to raise for the organization, “Soldier On“.  Soldier On works to help Australia’s wounded in several ways, by enhancing, inspiring, connecting and empowering them on their road to recovery. Soldier On works to enhance the work done by the Australian Department of Defence and the Australian Department of Veteran Affairs by fundraising for rehabilitation equipment and forming partnerships with those leading the file in the treatment of physical and psychological wounds.

Anyone interested in making a donation can visit this link.

The Send Off

Royce “Rolls” Hardman and Trigger will set off on their journey on the 27th of September from the Rockingham RSL (Returned Services League) on Memorial Drive in Rockingham, Australia.  Supporters are invited to help send the pair off in an event that will take place from 0900 to 1100 (WST).

With final preparations being made on the cart, it sure has come a long way and the new paint job gives it a more “military like” appearance.

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Good luck Brother and good luck to Trigger also.  Keep up the good work and we look forward to following your trek around Australia.  From the looks of Trigger, he seems to be enjoying his new ride.

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