Valentine's skydive for soldier heroes.
PUBLISHED: 13:19 21 January 2009 | UPDATED: 10:23 23 August 2010
THE sky really is the limit for one girlfriend s love and generosity, writes Joe Shackley. Laura Smith, 18, whose boyfriend Dean Freed, 21, served in Iraq as a soldier for seven months, is raising funds for the Help for Heroes charity by undertaking a sk
THE sky really is the limit for one girlfriend's love and generosity, writes Joe Shackley.
Laura Smith, 18, whose boyfriend Dean Freed, 21, served in Iraq as a soldier for seven months, is raising funds for the Help for Heroes charity by undertaking a skydive in Headcorn, near Maidstone on Valentine's Day.
Miss Smith, who lives and works at the Railway Tavern Pub in Meopham, has already met her £500 target and is now looking to secure more much needed funds for the charity - which helps wounded servicemen and women in conflicts around the world.
She said: "We've got friends who are still out in Iraq. I joined a Help for Heroes group on Facebook and there were pictures of a soldier's leg scalded from the top to the bottom. Dean has also told me stories where bullets were flying at him.
"I don't think enough is done to help our soldiers and I thought this would be a good thing to do for all the servicemen and women who risk their lives for others."
Mr Freed, who grew up in Swanscombe and served in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, added: "I left school at 16 and joined the army because there was nothing going for me in Swanscombe. People my age were getting into drugs and stuff like that, so I knew I had to get out of there.
"I don't know the ins and outs of the war in Iraq. I'm not high up in the army, I'm just a soldier - I don't know why it's going on. I just do what I have to do."
Mr Freed returned from Iraq in November 2006 and, following a spell in Germany, has now been posted back home in England for the next two years to complete his driving licences.
However, he expects to be reassigned to Afghanistan by 2010. And despite the recent resurgence of the Taleban in the region, which saw four British Marines killed last December in two separate explosions, he is prepared for any eventuality. He said: "Nothing bothers me about how things might be out there.
"I just want to do what's asked of me. If anything happens then, sadly, it happens. When your time's up, your time's up."
l For more information on how to sponsor
Miss Smith, visit http://www.justgiving.com/laurasmithskydive.