Calderdale Army veteran heads for Finland in charity ski marathon
A Calderdale soldier critically injured in combat is taking on a Nordic ski marathon in Finland on Friday in memory of his fallen comrades.
40-year-old Troy Conner, who was born and raised in Halifax, will embark on the ski marathon as part of the Armed Forces Para-Snowsports Team, along with 12 other vets who have suffered injuries in service.
In 2009 Troy was the only survivor after a vehicle he was travelling in in Afghanistan was destroyed by an IED. He has spent the intervening years piecing his life back together after an IED incident left him with a number of critical injuries, including injuries to the brain, from which he still suffers.
"This was incredibly tough for me to live with as you can imagine," Troy said, "it's been such a difficult few years and only recently have I been able to get my life back together.
"As a duty to the boys that didn’t make it, I knuckled down during rehab and recovery for 2 years. I was recovering pretty fast as I was determined to get back to work back to soldiering.
"Unfortunately that wasn’t to be and I was medically discharged from the Forces in 2011, which was really bad for me and left me with a massive void in my life.
"That void is still in me. I'm still on a journey."
Troy now spends his time trying to raise awareness and funds for the military and veterans charities out there that support and help the wounded injured and sick troops, having completed walking challenges in 2013 and 2014.
He has also recently entered into the world of public speaking, taking his story of resilience to schools, businesses and universities.
"This gives me a purpose again, it gives me a goal in life after losing my career and having been through serious adversity.
"It's not easy to live through what I've lived through and it's been good for me to lose myself in these sort of challenges."
Anyone wishing to support Troy's fundraising effort can do so on his Just Giving page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/troy-conner1