Norwich soldier’s fianc�e takes on skydive to raise funds for troops
The difficulties of having a partner who is away fighting in a war is an existence that is difficult to properly explain to others, as a 19-year-old woman has discovered.
Chelsie Neale, from Sprowston, is learning how best to cope with being the fianc�e of a soldier who is fighting on the front line in Afghanistan.
Miss Neale's boyfriend of more than two years, Elliott Morris, 21, from Costessey, drives tanks and armoured vehicles for the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's) – quite literally in the firing line.
The 9th/12th Royal Lancers are a formation reconnaissance regiment, currently based in Hohne, north Germany and attached to 7th Armoured Brigade, the Desert Rats.
They are described as: 'The eyes and ears for the Brigade Commander of over 5,000 soldiers, operating in advance of the front line to gather information and intelligence on the enemy and environment'.
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Just two weeks ago the 9th/12th Royal Lancers suffered the loss of a soldier after coming under fire when conducting a routine patrol in the Helmand province with members of the Afghan National Army.
So Miss Neale, a former City of Norwich School pupil, has had to learn to deal with the stress of having a loved one overseas and putting his life on the line for his country.
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She says: 'When we first started to get to know each other I didn't really know about the Army stuff but when you fall in love you don't just give it up because they have to go away and it's hard on you.
'But you do miss them and you can't help worrying about them, especially when you hear all the sad news about people dying. That does affect you and my heart goes out to families who have lost people. But I know the families of servicemen and women are so proud of them, and I am really proud of Elliott.'
The circumstances that took Mr Morris to war-torn Afghanistan were sad to start with, replacing someone who had their foot blown off by an explosion.
So now Miss Neale wants to do something to raise money for the services charity Help For Heroes.
She has decided to tackle her fear of heights and will make a tandem skydive from 13,000ft to raise money. She is doing this on August 31 with the Red Devils parachute regiment freefall team at Langor in Nottingham.
With over �350 already raised, Miss Neale is hoping to push that figure over �500 but admits she is dreading the moment that she has to jump out of the plane.
She added: 'I'm doing it because I've got a fear of heights and flying but I wanted to do something daring for the servicemen and women. Elliott has told me that I'll love it and that he's proud of me. I'm just hoping to make a little bit of a difference and raise some money for some very brave people.'
To support Miss Neale's charity efforts go to www.bmycharity.com/ chelsiesskydive
Are you raising money for charity? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org