A Market Rasen veteran who was left feeling hollow and rejected after being medically discharged from the RAF last year is starting to feel normal again after overwhelming support from Help for Heroes.
Daniel Tasker, 38, has gone from strength to strength and says he feels ‘overwhelmed’ to have been selected to represent the UK in the Invictus Games 2020, competing in archery, athletics, cycling and powerlifting.
Daniel is part of the 65-strong team of wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans who will take part.
His world fell apart in July 2018 after Daniel sustained an arm injury and was medically discharged from the RAF.
Speaking to the Rasen Mail, Daniel said: “I’d been in the air force for 17 years so it was quite a big shock.
“I felt quite hollow, I felt rejected and I felt upset because I loved my job and I wasn’t ready to leave.
“It was a very worrying time because my family and I had to find a new house – there was a lot of uncertainty.
“As well as my injury, I also suffered with my mental health and anxiety.”
The impact of a career ending injury had a huge impact on Daniel physically and mentally.
He was forced to face the challenges of adjusting to a different path in life outside of the RAF, but his injury also had repercussions on his relationships with family and friends.
But thanks to the Invictus Games and Help for Heroes, Daniel admits he is beginning to feel ‘normal’ again.
In an interview with Help for Heroes, Daniel said: “Since my injury I have felt defined and judged as a broken thing.
“From the friendships that I have already made, along with the help and support that comes with this process, I have started to feel normal again.
“The people that I have met during the Invictus UK Trials and training camps have taught me to trust in people and friendships again.
“I have met some truly inspirational people who have taught me that I can overcome my limitations and that they shouldn’t be allowed to hold me back.”
Daniel credits the charity for helping to change his and his family’s life.
Help for Heroes bought Daniel a recumbent bike on which he is training, and he’s also done several work-related courses with the charity.
He told the Rasen Mail: “Help for Heroes is something that I will be forever grateful for.
“My family, my wife and my children have all seen a positive change in me.
“Help for Heroes bought me a recumbent bike for training camps and sessions.”
The training camps and sessions have helped Daniel and fellow veterans overcome both physical and mental obstacles.
He told the Rasen Mail: “Help for Heroes and the Invictus Games helps tenfold because it shows us we aren’t as broken as we think we are.
“It is a way to make ourselves and our families feel proud. Regardless of injuries and ailments, we are all going through the same thing.
“You can talk to people without fear of embarrassment or fear of somebody not understanding.
“It has helped me to feel like me again.
“I am very excited to start training.
“It is a chance for me to show my son that daddy can , rather than daddy can’t.”