MORE than most, Corporal Andy Reid lives up to the reputation of the former commander the Duke of Wellington – “The Iron Duke”.
Cpl Reid, 35, of the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, lost both legs and an arm in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Afghanistan in 2009.
Yet his recovery since has been nothing short of remarkable.
“We went out in 2009 as battlefield replacements,” he said.
“That was the first time it has been done since Burma. It was very intense.
“On October 13, with 10 days left to go, we were out on a foot patrol at around 4.30am.
“The soldier in front with the metal detector didn’t pick up the IED because it was made out of graphite. Then it was stepped on.
“The next thing I knew, I was on the floor looking down and I couldn’t see my legs. A massive dust cloud was all around us and I couldn’t hear anything.
“Everything just felt numb really, there was no pain. I was completely in shock.
“The front soldier had been hit by shrapnel but he came straight to me to apply a tourniquet – he was later given a bravery medal.”
Cpl Reid added: “I was taken to Camp Bastion for immediate treatment then taken back to England.
“I thought straight away, ‘I am not going to let this beat me’.
“I had six hours of physio every day, then worked with an occupational therapist who taught me to write with my left hand.
“I just tried to keep motivated and set myself small goals and my ambition was to walk to collect my service medal in July the next year. It was a really proud moment for me.”
Cpl Reid, who married his wife Claire in September and has been heavily supported by ABF throughout his recovery, has also welcomed the opening of the new interim recovery centre in Catterick.
“We need these rehabilitation centres in Yorkshire and across the country,” he said. “At the moment it is a five-hour drive for me to get to the rehabilitation centre at Headley Court in Surrey.
“It will be a massive benefit for people.”