- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Sat 26 May 2012
ITV News Wales
A rugby match has been arranged in memory of Lance Sergeant Dan Collins who committed suicide on New year’s day. Dan suffered from PTSD.
The 27 year-old soldier from Llechryd, Ceredigion, served with the Welsh Guards for twelve years.
He toured Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq before serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
His friends have described how he struggled to cope after two of his best friends were killed in Afghanistan and he himself narrowly escaped death, being shot at twice and involved in two separate bomb blasts. On one occasion he was shot by a Taliban sniper while on foot patrol.
He received support and counselling through the military as a serving soldier but was said to be deeply troubled by his experiences in Afghanistan.
With the encouragement of Dan’s mother Deana and sister Megan, friends of the west Wales serviceman have decided to raise awareness and money for Bridgend-based charity Healing the Wounds, with a memorial rugby match.
Former Wales international Tom Shanklin will attend the match which will be refereed by Nigel Owens.
Local AM Joyce Watson has also offered her support.
“”I was deeply moved by L/Sgt Collins’ tragic story – I just wanted to help support the event in some way.
I grew up in Cardigan and still have family there, so it felt very close to home for me.
In such sad circumstances, it’s wonderful that the community has come together like this to support such a vital cause.”
– Joyce Watson AM
Cardigan Rugby club choir will begin proceedings ahead of the match which kicks off at 2:30pm.
A minute’s silence will also be held in memory of Lance Corporal Lee Davies who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month.