Foreword from Co-Founder Adam Douglas
My name is Adam Douglas, along with my wife, we are the joint founders of the forces charity The Forgotten Heroes.
I am an ex regular soldier (Army) & ex reservist (also Army). I was called up for the inevitable war against terror that culminated in the invasion of Iraq on operation Telic; which commenced on March 19th 2003. During the war fighting phase, I was unfortunately wounded in action from a deliberate counter attack by the Iraqi Republican Guard in which a high explosive detonated very close to me and caused me numerous injuries, which left me with considerable life changing disabilities.
On my return to the UK, I began long term hospital treatment, it became apparent that I had sustained extensive spinal injuries, which although at first did not leave me paralysed, however these injuries deteriorated over time and became more profound. My injuries eventually left me with paralysis, quoting a recent spinal expert & Professor of Neurology ‘I have no useful function of both my legs’.
I was quickly contacted by the mainstream forces charities after my discharge from many different Hospitals into the care of the Community for my long term recovery.
Although as an injured Serviceman, I could not want for more regarding these main stream charities in what they wanted to do with providing their core principles & I remain to this day, entirely grateful of their services.
However I quickly identified that my wife and now lifelong carer seemed to be almost forgotten about when it came to support and advice. Although all of the mainstream forces charities did state that their constitution did not specifically encompass any principles to assisting a carer, they did offer a small token of assistance, with culminated in a ‘shoulder to cry on’.
A Forces Carer does not swear an oath, make an allegiance, sign a contract, put on a uniform or make a promise other than a marriage vow, that they will put their own lives on hold while the provide their care to their loved one. A Forces Carer provides their care to their loved one, out of ‘devotion, love and necessity’
If we, The Forgotten Heroes can improve the life of a Forces Carer with the assistance we provide for just one day, then inevitably this improvement will reflect on the loved one that they care for and ultimately this persons quality of life and dignity will improve in reflection of our values of care.
No other Forces charity can claim to do this within their constitutions, The Forgotten Heroes values will lead to the improvement of life, dignity and care for either the Forces Carer and Serviceman or Servicewoman being cared for.
The Forgotten Heroes became a fully registered forces charity recognised by both the Charities Commission & Company’s House in March 2011.
This is when I decided to address this issue in what seemed to be a gap or lack of service and support with both the Government and all other charities which seemed to have missed directly assisting regarding a ‘Forces Carer’.
My wife and I decided not to simply sit back and leave it to someone else, that is where the principle of the idea of creating The Forgotten Heroes was born in late 2009.
We identified what a forces carer would need to provide future care to an injured or wounded serviceman or woman. We decided that there should be ‘No Limitation of Service’ for the carer to provide future care. In effect The Forgotten Heroes core values concerning a forces carer should be a ‘living legacy’ and that we should provide our help to all carers of wounded servicemen or women, from those who care for our oldest and dearest comrades from the First World War to present day and beyond.
The Forgotten Heroes are entirely devoted to the Forces Carer and everything this incredible person will need to provide future care to service personnel who are either injured or wounded in the line of service.
The Forgotten Heroes constitution states that we will only provide assistance for a Forces Carer as we have already identified that there are many established Forces charities that provide their mission to service personnel in need of support.