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Flight Lieutenants raise more than £1,300 for RAF Benevolent Fund

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Two RAF officers have planned a 100km march which they hope to complete in 24 hours for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Across June 1 and June 2, Flight Lieutenants Ben Parkin and Richard 'Stan' Stanley, both of Lincolnshire, will be taking part in the march in honour of the 78th D-Day anniversary.

Both men will also be carrying 30kg of kit for the challenge, which is the equivalent weight of what the men carried during the D-Day landings in 1944.

Flight Lieutenant Ben Parkin and Flight Lieutenant Richard ‘Stan’ Stanley (56874169)
Flight Lieutenant Ben Parkin and Flight Lieutenant Richard ‘Stan’ Stanley (56874169)

The challenge was initially planned for the 77th anniversary of the Normandy landings, but was delayed until this year due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions at the time.

Although Ben and Stan did complete a 50km training march at Belton House on June 6, 2021, which was the site of a former RAF Regiment Depot Belton Park, which is where RAF personnel who took part in the landings were trained.

Ben said: "The challenge actually started out as a bit of a joke between Stan and I after he spotted a five-day Normandy beaches walking tour."

He continued: "Stan said he thought we could do it in a single day and I agreed with him and it spiralled from there.

"I’m a bit of a military history geek and we wanted to reflect the conditions from D-Day, so we added the 30kg to make it more realistic and more challenging.

"We’ve managed to train together quite a bit and we’ve been carrying the full kit to get used to the weight.

"I think the last 50km will be toughest, but this is the first challenge like this that Stan and I are doing together, so maybe the real challenge will be staying friends afterwards."

So far, Ben and Stan have raised more than £1,300 for the fund, which provides financial, practical and emotional support to the whole of the RAF Family, both serving personnel and veterans, as well as their partners and dependants.

If you would like to donate their JustGiving page can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/richard-stanley7

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