A soldier who has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan is cycling 3,000 miles across America to raise money for a charity which helps veterans deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Matty Hulme, from Dove Holes, joined the army foundation college at 16 and six years later left as Lance Corporal with PTSD.
The 26-year-old said: “I struggled a lot after the army. I was very anti social, I had lots of anxiety, I avoided social events and crowds and I was aggressive towards others. I was suicidal for a while. I went to the charity Combat Stress as my mum wanted me to and it saved me.”
After receiving help from Combat Stress, Matty describes himself as “normal now” and so has embarked on a mammoth task to cycle across the USA from Florida to Dakota to give something back to the charity.
He started his journey in early September and has already covered hundreds of miles and met generous people who have not only sponsored him but are helping him to do the challenge which is he funding himself.
He said: “It’s very hot and humid here, I usually set off about 8am and keep going all day till 4pm.
“I’m quite astounded and humbled by people’s generosity and kindness. As soon as I tell them my story and why, they are like ‘here take money’ or ‘can we buy you something to eat?’.”
Matty’s mum Alison Hulme, who lives in Peak Dale added: “There is no help from the armed forces with these issues and the NHS can’t cope. It is a very specialist help needed and Combat Stress are overwhelmed with demand. They gave me my son back so anything I can do help them I will.” To donate click here.