Gravesend army veteran urges other former armed forces members to access free support ahead of Eye Health week
PUBLISHED: 10:07 18 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:34 18 September 2015
Blind Veterans UK, works with former members of the armed forces battling with severe sight loss
Eric Gouge, 86, from Gravesend is urging former servicemen and women to use a free support service set up for former armed forces members now struggling with the loss of their sight.
Mr Gouge, who served in the Royal East Kent Regiment for six and a half years just after World War Two, lost his sight many years after leaving the army and retiring from civilian work.
After being diagnosed with detached retinas, Mr Gouge found help and support with Blind Veterans UK, and is urging others to do the same, saying:
“I live on my own but their support allows me to live independently in my own home and through them I get the chance to meet other veterans who are also living with severe sight loss.
Blind Veterans UK is supporting Eye Health week in the hope more eligible servicemen and women will come forward.
The organisation helps all veterans, regardless of how they lost their sight.
Mr Gouge expressed the impact the support has had on himself and his family, saying:
“Me and my family are so impressed with Blind Veterans UK and my granddaughter is running a half marathon to raise funds for the charity.
“I would recommend any ex-Armed Forces including those that did National Service to get in touch with the charity for support if they are affected by a vision-impairment.”
Regardless of how a veteran lost their sight or when they served, Blind Veterans UK can help. If you are a vision impaired ex-Service man or woman, or care for someone who is, find out more at www.noonealone.org.uk or telephone 0800 389 7979.