Ex-army soldier, Dean Porter, who served in Afghanistan, is running 22k a day in January in respect of the 22 veterans who commit suicide on average every day due to mental health issues.
Dean, 36, from Hemel Hempstead, has described it as his way of giving back to Combat Stress, a charity who got him on the right track after nearly committing suicide.
When on tour in Afghanistan, Dean and his team suddenly become under friendly fire which resulted in a couple of soldiers losing their lives.
After this traumatic experience, Dean said that his life started to spiral out of control.
He said: “What happened in Afghanistan changed my life. My whole world started to change and I was too scared to admit it.
“My life quickly started going in the wrong direction. I was getting into really bad habits to distract from my personal struggles.
“The hardest thing for veterans is being able to open up and ask for help. We are built up to be these big, strong men and are expected to deal with everything.”
Dean explained how he was on the verge of committing suicide in 2016 after suffering a mental breakdown.
“I had a serious mental breakdown. The next day, I went out and found myself contemplating jumping off a railway bridge.
“I was broken and I was so scared to admit it. I rang my wife and she stopped me which I am so grateful for.”
Dean went on to talk about the amazing support he then received from the charity Combat Stress which got him back to his strongest.
Combat Stress are the UK’s leading charity for veteran’s mental health.
Dean, who is now a fully qualified personal trainer, said: “I have been through combat stress and this amazing charity helped me every step of the way. This is my way of saying thank you.
“This is also for the veterans who are going through what I went through and are not brave enough to speak out and for those who are no longer here.”
Dean has used Facebook at the forefront of his 22k a day project to get his story out there to army veterans that are suffering.
“It is a hard thing but I hope to inspire people. My goal of £1,000 is currently on track. I am a third of the way there but am hoping to surpass my target.”
If you would like to donate to Dean’s page, you can visit justgiving.com/fundraising/22adayforjan