The father and sister of a Tring soldier who was killed in Afghanistan less than four years ago will be among the thousands of runners descending on London for the Virgin Money Marathon today.
Steve Barnsdale and Vanessa Lonergan are running in memory of their beloved Dave, who was killed by a roadside bomb on October 19, 2010.
The Corporal, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), was clearing a patrol area in Helmand province at the time of his death. He was just 24 years old.
The father-daughter pair are raising money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
Steve, 60, said: “Our lives changed forever when we were told that David had been killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) whilst serving in Afghanistan.
“He was just 24 years old and taken far too soon. Unfortunately too many soldiers, like David, haven’t made it home to their families.
“Many more have come home with life-changing injuries, like some of David’s friends. They risk so much for us but for them it’s just doing their job.”
Vanessa said: “We have all been through difficult times since that day in 2010 but for our family and friends it is an important reason to ensure that it wasn’t for nothing.
“We remind ourselves every day to live life to the full, take on and share new experiences and help those in need, just as he did.”
Today will be Steve’s third consecutive bash at the 26.2 mile run through the capital, but Vanessa is taking on the challenge for the first time.
In 2011, Steve, of Parsonage Close, became the ABF Soldiers’ Charity’s biggest ever individual fundraiser with a total of £15,000.