AFTER 10 years in the army, former military man David Snell knows all too well the effects it can have on some soldiers.
And after seeing recruits suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and the spike in suicides, Mr Snell decided to take a step forward to help the battlers back on track.
He is preparing to climb Mount Bogong, the highest mountain in Victoria, to raise money for Young Diggers Dog Squad, a program that trains dogs to assist serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members dealing with post-traumatic stress.
Mr Snell will challenge himself with four strenuous activities throughout the year.
After conquering Mount Bogong, he will prepare to climb Mount Kosciuszko before competing in the Sydney City to Surf and the Melbourne Marathon.
He runs at least 10 kilometres a day and said when he felt like giving up he heard his mates in his head, yelling at him to keep going.
“Just like when I was in the army,” he said.
Mr Snell made the decision to start his cause last Tuesday and has already raised more than $3000.
He was inspired after seeing Mount Beauty ex-serviceman Joshua New with his dog Lucky.
“After seeing the bond between them I left Josh’s house saying ‘I have to do something’,” Mr Snell said.
“Since getting Lucky everyone has seen so much a difference in him.”
His aim was to raise $7500 to train three assistance dogs but said if the support he received so far continued, he’d be able to donate enough money to train five.
A tattoo reading “Lest We Forget” on Mr Snell’s bicep was part of his healing process after leaving the army and is a way he can share his story and make others aware of the issue.
To donate visit the website: mycause.com.au/page/89179/runfordiggers.