Lisa Keevash, formerly Captain Lisa Keevash Head of HR 2nd battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, joined the armed forces when she was 17 years old. She held many different roles during her 14 years service and undertook two tours in Afghanistan and three in Iraq.
One of the more testing roles she held whilst serving in Afghanistan was to meet casualties as they arrived at Camp Bastion Hospital and provide the liaison between the injured personnel at the hospital and the soldiers on the ground.
On 18th February 2010, sadly the casualty she went to meet was her close friend Dougie. This is Lisa’s story of what inspired her to run the Virgin Money London Marathon for the Lt. Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust and Help for Heroes.
“Dougie Dalzell and I both served as Lieutenants together in the Coldstream Guards after a year of training together in the same company at Sandhurst. On 18 February 2010, his 27th birthday, Dougie stepped on an IED during an operation to clear insurgents so that a checkpoint could be built.
“I saw Dougie on his arrival and grabbed his hand as he was taken into surgery but he never got to see me and died as a result of his wounds. Dougie’s platoon had suffered from severe casualties during our tour. Three men in Dougie’s platoon also lost their lives whilst others were badly injured by loss oflimb, muscle and/or post traumatic stress.
The Lt Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust
“The Lt Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust seeks to assist persons who are currently serving or have served in the Armed Forces, and their dependants, and thereby improve the quality of life of soldiers who have given so much for their country.
“Many soldiers returning from operation suffer from a multitude of problems, including injuries to their body, the loss of limbs, mental trauma including post traumatic stress which is often triggered some time after the soldiers’ return from operation and, in some cases, loss of employment due to jobs in the army being unavailable in the event of permanent disability. The problems endured are often ongoing and, in the majority of cases, remain with the soldiers for life. Injuries sustained therefore have a life changing effect.
Help for Heroes
Lisa’s second charity is Help for Heroes. Help for Heroes aim to “deliver an enduring national network of support for our wounded and their families“. Between March 2014 and 2015, the charity helped over 4,000 Veterans and military personnel – and their families – through their network of Recovery Centers.
Help for Heroes point out that although the war in Afghanistan may be over, for those who have suffered life-changing injuries, their battles are just beginning. They estimate that, of the 220,560 individuals deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2014, “up to 75,000 servicemen and women (and their families) may need our support in the future.”
How you can help
Lisa concludes by saying that “If you don’t believe training 6 times a week for 16 weeks is a worthy reason to donate, if you don’t believe that (practically) giving up alcohol for 16 weeks is a worthy reason to donate and if you don’t even think running 26.2 miles is a worthy cause to donate then maybe the charities I’m running for will persuade you.”
You can support Lisa’s fundraising by donating to her Virgin Money Giving page. Don’t forget, if you donate to a London Marathon Virgin Money Giving page by MasterCard bfore the 15th April, that charity could win £25,000!