Ramsgate veteran blinded in Afghanistan takes on challenge to climb 10 mountains for Project Eye Believe

War hero Paul Jacobs will climb 10 mountains

Fourteen years ago Rifleman Paul Jacobs, from Ramsgate, was 19 years old and on his first tour in Afghanistan.

Caught in a Taliban bomb blast, he lost one eye and was blinded in the other and sustained terrible injuries. Today, he launches a new battle plan: Project Eye Believe, raising funds for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, which has helped him through difficult times.

Over the last 14 years, Paul has battled demons on the inside and come out fighting. Now he wants to show his appreciation for SSAFA, and to inspire others to follow their dreams, despite adversity.

For Project Eye Believe, Paul will be climbing 10 of the highest mountains in the world over the next four years. Starting local, he is ticking number one off the list on October 14 by climbing the highest mountain in Wales, Mount Snowdon. Next will be Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, which he is due to conquer in February 2024. After seven more mountains across seven continents, the final peak will be Mount Everest in 2027.

Paul said: “What I’d really like is for people to start the journey with me on Snowdon. Have some fun and be part of the beginning of a huge journey – one day they’ll be able to say ‘I climbed the first mountain with that blind bloke who went on to climb Everest’.”

Paul is a hero and in 2010 he was awarded the George Medal, granted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of “acts of great bravery”. His citation for the medal was ‘for faultless courage, selflessness and dedication to his unit’.

Paul was five months into his first tour of Afghanistan with 2nd Battalion The Rifles in August 2009, leading a patrol up an isolated alleyway in the Upper Sangin Valley, when an enormous explosion from a hidden bomb killed a colleague.

Paul started clearing the ground, ensuring there were no other IEDs up to, and around, the body. Then, as he moved back towards his cover man, another device suddenly exploded, killing another British soldier and seriously injuring Paul, who lost his right eye and was blinded in his left.

Despite his injuries he managed to drag himself to a mine-free area of ground so that his colleagues could rescue him safely.

In the years since Paul has raised hundreds of thousands for military charities by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, cycling 500 miles, skydiving and running marathons.

PROJECT EYE BELIEVE:

1. Mount Snowdon – Highest mountain in Wales – 14th October 2023

2. Mount Toubkal – Highest mountain in North Africa – February 2024

3. Mount Kosciuszko – Highest mountain in Australia – September 2024

4. Mont Blanc – Highest mountain in Western Europe

5. Mount Kilimanjaro – Highest mountain in Africa

6. Mount Elbrus – Highest mountain in Europe

7. Mount Aconcagua – Highest mountain in South America

8. Mount Denali – Highest mountain in North America

9. Mount Vinson – Highest mountain in Antarctica

10. Mount Everest – Highest mountain in the World

Paul is going to be guided by fellow wounded veteran Richard French, who was blinded in one eye in Afghanistan himself.

To support Paul and find further details visit: https://justgiving.com/page/paul-jacobs-gm

If you would like to join Paul on his first mountain: Date: 14th October, Time: 9am, Route: Pyg Track, RV: Pen y Pass Car Park, RV Whatt3Words: noticing.angry.sits, RV Postcode: LL55 4NY

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