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Former soldier and paramedic donating book proceeds to ‘wonderful’ Not Forgotten and Pilgrim Bandits

A veteran who served in both the army and in the ambulance service has written a book detailing the highs and lows of his career.

Dave ‘Benny’ Bentley has released ‘Para-Medic: War & Peace, My Experience on Two Front Lines’, which covers his tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, and his time in the ambulance service, responding to emergency calls via Ambulance, Helicopter and as part of the Hazardous Area Response Team.

He has kindly offered to donate all proceeds from the book to The Not Forgotten and The Pilgrim Bandits.

Dave, from Wolverhampton, said he feels ‘a hundred times better’ after finally putting his story down on paper.

“I joined the army when I was 16, serving  8  years in the military and 11 years in the  ambulance service. I took on a lot of different roles and had so many experiences – both good and bad” he said.

“I wanted to get it all down in one book in the hope it will give an insight and help people out. Writing it was really cathartic. There are a lot of things in the book that I got to share and put down on paper for the first time, and I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

“Jobs in both the army and the ambulance service are really sought after, and the book allows anyone thinking about going into those jobs to get an insight into what they’re really like in a detailed way.

“For anyone outside of those worlds, the book is quite eye-opening. You see a lot of things on the telly about those careers and people have ideas of what they should be like, but there’s a lot that you don’t see.

“This book looks at things like the emotional impact that different events can have on you, and the support that I got; whether it was from the military, the ambulance service. It is also a tribute to some really special people that I met along the way.”

Dave said he will be donating any profits of the book to two ‘wonderful’ charities – The Not Forgotten, and The Pilgrim Bandits.

“The Pilgrim Bandits supported my close friend, Ben who I served with in Afghanistan in 2006, after he was seriously injured on a tour. They gave me an opportunity to support Ben on a kayaking expedition to Greenland, which was amazing.  I heard about The Not Forgotten and all the amazing work they do from them.

“I was first invited to a Garden Party by The Not Forgotten, which was a real honour for me and my wife Rhoda.  I also was invited on a skiing trip to Colorado, which was absolutely phenomenal. I learned to ski from scratch in the most beautiful of surroundings, and I made friends for life.

“ The way they do things is very personal – you get a phone call from Rosie or Anne, and it’s like family, not corporate at all.

Dave (centre, bottom row) joined the army when he was 16

“If the book makes any money, it’ll be great to give back because both charities make their beneficiaries feel like family and not just a number. I am so privileged to have crossed paths with both and I really hope people like my story and feel good in the knowledge they are supporting Veterans and emergency service personnel.

“There are also so many great friends and close family who have supported me over the years, and I hope this does them justice.”

If you would like to order a copy of Para-Medic, you can do so here.

*Header photo credit – Paul Humphries