Fourteen years ago Rifleman Paul Jacobs, left for his first tour in Afghanistan. He was 19 years old. Caught in a bomb blast, he lost both his eyes and sustained terrible injuries. Today, he launches a new battle plan: Project Eye Believe, raising funds for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, which has helped him through difficult times.
Over the last fourteen years, Paul has battled demons on the inside and come out fighting. Now he wants to show his appreciation for SSAFA, and to inspire others to follow their dreams, despite adversity.
For Project Eye Believe, Paul will be climbing 10 of the highest mountains in the world over the next four years. Starting local, he is ticking number one off the list on the 14th October 2023 by climbing the highest mountain in Wales, Mount Snowdon. Next will be Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, which he is due to conquer in February 2024. After seven more mountains across seven continents, the final peak will be Mount Everest in 2027.
Paul said: “What I’d really like is for people to start the journey with me on Snowdon. Have some fun and be part of the beginning of a huge journey – one day they’ll be able to say ‘I climbed the first mountain with that blind bloke who went on to climb Everest’.”
Paul is a bona fide hero and there is no doubt that he has the skills and determination to see this epic project through. In 2010 Paul was awarded the George Medal, which was granted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of “acts of great bravery”. His citation for the medal was ‘for faultless courage, selflessness and dedication to his unit’.
A member of Paul’s company was fatally wounded in an initial explosion, so Paul started clearing the ground, ensuring there were no other IEDs up to, and around, the body. Then, as he moved back towards his cover man, another device suddenly exploded, killing this comrade also.
Paul was seriously wounded in the explosion, but he had the presence of mind to drag himself back onto the safe route he had just cleared, into a position where his extraction would be safer for others.
A hero indeed. The kind of man you might want to find yourself up a mountain with, giving moral support and encouragement to, at the outset of his Project Eye Believe.
To support Paul and find further details visit: https://justgiving.com/page/paul-jacobs-gm
If you would like to join Paul on his first mountain: Date: 14th October, Time: 9am, Route: Pyg Track, RV: Pen y Pass Car Park, RV Whatt3Words: noticing.angry.sits, RV Postcode: LL55 4NY
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity is a trusted source of support for serving personnel, veterans and their families in their time of need. In 2022 our trained teams of volunteers and employees helped more than 59,000 people, including veterans, serving personnel (regulars and reserves) and their families. Since 1885 we have provided welfare and wellbeing assistance that is tailored to our Armed Forces community. We know about the unique demands of service life, whether in the UK or overseas, and we continue to meet the demand for support to enable the entire Armed Forces family to thrive. SSAFA understands that behind every uniform is a person. And we are here for that person and their family, any time they need us and in any way they need us.
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