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Soldier hero Matt honoured

PUBLISHED: 17:03 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:09 23 August 2010

A SOLDIER horrifically injured in Afghanistan less than four months ago was guest of honour at a Help the Heroes charity event. Brave Matt Weston, 20, from Taunton in Somerset, attended the fundraiser at Mid Kent Golf Club, in Singlewell Road, Gravesend

A SOLDIER horrifically injured in Afghanistan less than four months ago was guest of honour at a Help the Heroes charity event.

Brave Matt Weston, 20, from Taunton in Somerset, attended the fundraiser at Mid Kent Golf Club, in Singlewell Road, Gravesend, last Saturday.

He was joined by Colonel David Caulfield, 48, from Gravesend, who organised the event along with his club member father Harry, 72.

Mr Weston, a bomb disposal expert, lost both legs and an arm when clearing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in volatile Sangin, in Helmand Provence.

The soldier from 33rd Engineer Regiment, based in Essex, said: "We were clearing IEDs at night and all I can remember was a flash and initially there was no pain.

"There were four other lads on the mission and, although I knew something was very wrong, your thoughts are with the guys who you have developed a special bond with."

Charity fundraisers like Saturday's were appreciated by troops, he added.

"As a soldier prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, you always like to think you have the support of the public," he said.

"Events like this make it hit home just how appreciated you are and the public will never know how important to us that is."

Colonel Caulfield, who joined the army in 1982, praised the young sapper and welcomed plans by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to send 500 more troops to Afghanistan.

He said: "I am honoured and delighted that this room is packed with people who recognise just what this young man has given.

"Looking beyond the politics of the war, people should realise this could easily have happened to their son or grandson.

"The army are in Afghanistan meeting ferocious resistance and the mission has to be seen through.

"It is a welcome announcement that the government is increasing troop numbers."

Club captain Dave Ewen, 47, announced that Mid Kent Golf Club would bid £300 for a Gurkha souvenir knife being auctioned to raise money for the charity. It will be used as a trophy.

Help for Heroes has raised more than £30 million since it was established in 2007 to help soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. For more about the charity's work or to make a donation, log on to www.help

forheroes.org.uk.

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