Friday, May 6, 2011

Royal Marines wounded celebrate first social event

ORDINARILY we don’t publish group shots.
But aside from being a rather nice photograph – taken by LA(Phot) Jenny Lodge – this is no ordinary group shot.
In fact, it’s no ordinary group.
This is the first ‘all ranks’ regimental dinner for Hasler Company Royal Marines, hosted by the Sergeants’ Mess 42 Commando.
Hasler Company was formed 18 months ago as a dedicated unit to help seriously wounded/injured commandos on the ‘journey back to business’ – recovery, rehabilitation and re-integration.

There are currently 51 green berets in the Devonport-based company – named for the legendary Cockleshell Hero Maj ‘Blondie’ Hasler – helped along the road to recovery by 16 staff.
As well as crippling German shipping in Bordeaux harbour, Maj Hasler subsequently became a champion for people with disabilities; he was invalided out of the Corps, but went on to become a renowned yachtsman.
A vital part of that re-integration is feeling a valued member of the Corps – once a Royal Marine, always a Royal Marine – hence the formal dinner.
“The social event was a great success – and a vital element in the continued integration and recovery of personnel suffering complex injuries and long term illness,” said WO2 Baz Thrift, Officer Commanding Ajax Troop.
At present the company uses the former ballroom at the Drake junior rates’ mess, which has been turned into a temporary rehabilitation centre, plus a bespoke accommodation block adapted for the recovering green berets.
A purpose-built rehab complex for Hasler Company, which has funded by the charity Help for Heroes, is due to open next year.


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