Through all your support efforts, we are fortunate to receive these esteemed guests all the way from the United Kingdom. These veterans represent the Blinded Veterans UK and will be attending this year's Major Rob Soltes Memorial Golf Event on October 12th, 2015.
Colin Williamson, British Army veteran, served in the Royal Regiment of Artillery in the U.K., Germany, and during two tours of Northern Ireland on Operation Banner. Colin’s sight loss is due to neurological damage after he suffered a trauma to the skull which resulted in five skull fractures. Army UK “Gunner” has been blind since 1995 and has served for more than 10 years on active duty. He now works for Blind Veterans UK as cadet instructor for blind veterans enrolled in a rehabilitation program and carries the following title: Communications Officer and Contributing Editor for the monthly BVUK magazine. In addition to his general job of coordinating Blind Veterans UK’s public outreach, Colin has also been the coordinator of the annual Project Gemini exchanges since May 2011. Project Gemini has now hosted 30 BVA veterans and most recently four South African veterans.
Afghanistan War (OEF) BVUK veterans British Army Corporal William Drinkwater and Corporal Ken Facal were both injured in the same Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast and both sustained vision loss, among other severe injuries.
Ken, now 29, was 17 and in college when he decided to join the UK Armed Forces. He was too young to join the police force but decided to join the Army after seeing an advertising compaign. He served did two tours of Afghanistan and one in Iraq with the British Army. He was first injured in an IED blast in 2010 and then again in 2011. Ken was in a coma for a month after his injuries. He began his rehabilitation after meeting other BVUK members who visited him. Both Billy and Ken are active participates in several BVUK events and volunteer to help all members. They both participated in BVA’s Operation Peer Support 2012 and Project Gemini exchanges and active peer volunteers in the UK participating in sports and community events.