Injured Afghanistan veteran from Northampton swaps boots for trainers for London Marathon today

David with his son Nyle.
David with his son Nyle.

An injured former lance corporal from Northampton, who lost his right eye while serving in Afghanistan, is taking on the London Marathon today.

David Chandler, 36, from Little Billing, will run 26 miles to thank Blesma, The Limbless Veterans charity, for being there when he needed them.

David was serving with the Mercian Regiment in Afghanistan in 2009 when an IED damaged his right eye.

David was serving with the Mercian Regiment in Afghanistan in 2009 when an IED damaged his right eye.

He was caught in the blast of an IED while serving with the Mercian Regiment in 2009. The explosion tragically also killed one of his squad.

David said: “Running the London Marathon for Blesma is my way of thanking them for all their hard work.

"They’ve always been there for me and my family and as a family, we’ve been able to attend their family rehabilitation activity, which was great. I’ve also been able to attend some of their rehabilitation activities solo, too.”

In 2009, David was serving Afghanistan as part of a Quick Reaction Force travelling to a request for assistance. His soldiers began getting too close together, meaning any blast or contact would have inflicted more causalities, and so he ordered them to space out.

But then one of his soldiers, Private Jason Williams, denoted an IED. David was caught the blast, which resulted in the loss of his right eye.

Tragically Private Williams was also killed.

The 36-year-old is hoping to run the Marathon in three hours 30 minutes. However after an accident on a snowy training day earlier this year, he twisted his knee which may set him back.

As extra motivation, Nyle, David’s son, has been cycling alongside him during training.

David has set up a JustGiving page to support his marathon run with a target of £2,000.
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless service men and women, their widows and dependants. It was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.