A blind veteran has spoken of his pride and honour at being asked to represent the national military charity at this year’s national Armed Forces Day event.
Charlie Eastwood, 55, from Hartlepool, will be carrying the official standard for Blind Veterans UK at the opening parade of the nationwide Armed Forces Day event in Guildford on Saturday.
I’m over the moon to be able to represent the charity that has done so much for me.Charlie Eastwood
The event will be attended by HRH The Duke of York for the very first time.
Charlie said: “I’m so proud and honoured to have been asked to carry the standard for Blind Veterans UK.
“I’m over the moon to be able to represent the charity that has done so much for me.
“It’s very humbling as well, it’s giving me a chance to give something back.”
Veteran Charlie joined the Army in 1976 as part of the Royal Signals.
He served as a generator engineer for over 20 years in countries including Germany, Hong Kong, the Caribbean and Canada.
In 1996, Charlie was diagnosed with the hereditary condition retinitis pigmentosa which caused his sight to deteriorate and left him unable to do many of the things he used to enjoy.
This all changed in 2007, when Charlie started to receive support from Blind Veterans UK.
It is the seventh annual Armed Forces Day, which is the UK’s celebration of the nation’s armed forces, past and present.
The Guildford event will include a parade of serving personnel, veterans and cadets, and military-themed events and displays.