Care for Casualties was initiated in early 2009 to raise funds in order to assist those members of the Rifles Regimental family who were found to be in need, arising predominantly as a result of the Regiment’s almost continuous involvement in enduring operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Care for Casualties provides the severely wounded, their families and the families of our fallen Riflemen the support, the inspiration and the means to rebuild their lives and make the best of their futures in wider society. Care for Casualties isn’t only about funding, we also receive offers of help in kind such as holidays, advice, jobs and training which taken together can inspire self-sufficiency and hope. In the words of one supporter, “It’s not just the soldiers who serve, it’s their families too and we owe it to them to look after them all.”
Since The Rifles formation in 2007, we have seen almost continuous action in Iraq and Afghanistan, the commitment to which has come at a cost. We have seen over 62 Riflemen Killed in Action, around 30 suffering a loss of 1 or more limbs, 2 Riflemen who have been permanently blinded and 2 who are in the care of neurological units and who will remain there for the rest of their lives. Our very seriously injured are aged between 18 and 26 and have many years of active life ahead of them. Additionally we have approximately 300 other soldiers with serious injuries. The looming concern is the very likely increase in recorded psychological problems, well documented as Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which we can anticipate will manifest to a greater degree in the coming years. It is clear therefore that the need for help will continue for many years to come.
Riflemen have and continue to voluntarily risk life and limb on the behalf of others; we need to do all we can to support them and show our appreciation for their courage and sacrifice. The Rifles ensure enduring care for our wounded Riflemen, their families and the families of the fallen. This involves calling upon the Regiment’s nationwide network of serving and veteran Riflemen, its County Offices and its Regimental funds to provide advice, welfare and benevolence quickly to the point of need. Our aim is to enhance the life of a casualty and the levels of support are assessed against the need. Over the last 7 years we have assisted with a variety of different requests. Assistance is designed wherever possible to enable our wounded to acquire skills and knowledge to assist them in their civilian life and maximise their potential to earn a living. Funds raised by the Care for Casualties appeal have already contributed towards:
- Requests for Training and Education including assistance with course fees
- Vehicle and home adaptations
- Funding of Open University and specialised training courses.
- Care for the Next of Kin of Fallen and Wounded Riflemen, including counselling for Riflemen dealing with post-conflict psychological issues or for bereaved family members.
- Respite breaks and recuperation holidays for those who are suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, grief, cancer or other life threatening illnesses.
- Driving lessons
- Assistance to enable the children of fallen Rifleman to continue with their chosen education pathway.
- Subsidy of sports activities.
Sport and Adventure Training have been found to play a vital role in the physical and mental rehabilitation of our Riflemen. Regimental Funds have been used for skiing and sailing opportunities for our wounded Riflemen, enabling those who wish to develop their disabled sporting prowess to the highest levels including competing in the Paralympics.
The Rifles, through Care For Casualties, demonstrates not only that our commitment to all the members of the wider Regimental Family is unwavering, but that it is an enduring commitment of which we are proud to be playing our part as there are so many soldiers and dependants that need our assistance. In order for us to fulfil our heartfelt obligation to all those affected and to ensure that the care we offer is as effective as possible we rely upon your continued support, for which we are so very grateful.
 E.g. Funding was provided for the girlfriend (now wife) of a blinded rifleman in order for her to drive him to work, funding has also been provided for carers of amputees.