Ben McComb Q+A
Why did you sign up serve?
A great number of my family on both my parents’ side have served in the military and it has always been the plan for me to join. I was never pressured into joining, I just never really considered pursuing another career as I always wanted to join the Army.
The lifestyle of the military has always appealed to me, particularly the concept of comradery. This combined with the sense of adventure and the opportunity to travel whilst being granted a great deal of responsibility at such a young age. For example, by the age of 24 I was given the responsibility of leading 30 soldiers. There are few jobs in the world that would give me this opportunity at such a young age.
What skills are you going to bring to the team?
Discipline will be very important. Even when I am tired, I know that I have the self-discipline to administrate myself as needed. Self-belief is also key. I have been in difficult and dangerous situations before and I have survived them. For that reason, I believe I can complete this demanding challenge. Finally, leadership skills. Having commissioned from the RMAS, I have been required to lead from the front throughout my entire career. I believe this skill will be critical when things begin to become difficult.
What does it mean to you to be walking with other ex-military servicemen across Oman?
I am very pleased to be taking part. It’s a great opportunity to showcase what people can achieve despite physical or mental health issues. It’s also very meaningful to be able to walk with those who served through the Omani desert.
Why did you sign up to take part?
Being injured doesn’t mean I am physically incapable of anything else, as some would have you believe! Despite the fact that I’ve got a neural impingement in my lower back (3 of my spinal discs have herniated into my spine and anything neural in my lower body is affected by it), this expedition is a great way to prove I’m capable of anything. Additionally, I will be representing every other serving injured soldier and demonstrating what they can still achieve if they put their minds to it.
Why have you chosen to support WWTW?
I know many people who have been helped by WWTW, the charity has helped friends get their lives back on track from very low positions. It is an important charity, even when compared against other military charities.
How are you preparing for the challenge?
I train 6 days a week: rehab and yoga each of the six days. In addition, I do strength training four times a week, this also helps my back injury out a great deal. Finally, in between I do cardio to help keep fit.
What are you most looking forward to?
The thing I’m looking forward to the most is being sat in the middle of the desert, miles and miles away from civilisation after a hard day’s trek, knowing I am part of something amazing. That thought will keep me going every day, I am certain of it!
In 3 words describe where you were 3 years ago.
Desperate and wanting direction.
Describe where you are now.
Motivated, mental clarity.
For further updates on the team and the expedition, head to www.walkingwiththewounded.org.uk