Vietnam veteran amputee cycles 10,000kms for PTSD charities

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Cycling 10,000 kilometres across six countries would be a gruelling ride for most but for an amputee it is an incredible feat.

Vietnam veteran and former Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) soldier Laurie ‘Truck’ Sams lost his left leg after a parachute malfunction during a tandem skydive in 1995.

He received the Star of Courage bravery award for saving the life of his skydiving partner during the accident.

Mr Sams served with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for 21 years, including in South Vietnam.

The 67-year-old is riding from Hanoi to Sydney to raise awareness and funds for Australian military veterans who have suffered physical or psychological trauma as part of their service.

Mr Sams said he experienced post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms when he returned from Vietnam 45 years ago.

“Being young and sort of crazy, I suppose I pushed those things aside and got on with the job,” he said.

“It manifested quite heavily about 20 years later and it cost me my family and that’s what’s happening to the younger veterans as well.
“It does creep up on you and when it does, it can hit in a big way.”

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