Mark Elliott, Head of External Operations at Help for Heroes 

“Strength does not come from physical capability. It comes from an indomitable will”

 

It’s always interesting to observe people’s reaction when they first meet our Wounded, Sick and Injured Heroes be that physical or mental injury. Of course, there is a certain amount of sympathy and admiration but actually what most people see is what is ‘missing’ and they fail to see all the additions and I’m not referring to prosthetics.

 

On the 23rd February 2011 I first met Josh, it was a Wednesday and we were at the filming of Top Gear.  It was just 6 weeks after being blown up in Afghanistan and the first thing I saw was a skinny young lad in a wheel chair with one arm.  What was instantly remarkable was Josh the person and not how many limbs he had missing. His inner mental strength, his drive, his passion for life, his will to succeed and of course his sense of humour were far far stronger than any limb. 

 

What I could not realise at the time was just how much Josh would help me and I’m not just talking about helping me up when I have crashed on my bike (again!) or coming to rescue me in a snow drift…..but me as a person.  Friendship is about looking after each other in the good times and bad and I can assure you that I have heard Josh utter the words “Are you Ok Pops?” hundreds of times and I am humbled and grateful each and everytime.  I know he does likewise for many others.

 

Many, I suspect will rightfully point to his many and impressive achievements over the last six and a half years of which there have been many and they would be right to do so, I have been privileged to play a small ‘supporting’ role in some of them but I would suggest his greatest achievement is simply being….. Josh.

 

Sadly, Josh is not unique by injury but he is most certainly unique as a human being and I mean that in the most positive sense imaginable. I hope I am not alone and that people will listen to what he says NOT because he lost three limbs but because he’s…..Josh!