An Australian veteran who lost a leg has arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on a bicycle ride from Hanoi to Sydney to support fellow veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Laurie “Truck” Sam, 67, served with the Special Air Service Regiment in Vietnam in 1970 before losing a leg in a parachute accident in 1995, according to a press release by the Australian Consulate in HCMC.
He left Hanoi on May 12 and aims to finish the 10,000km ride, which he calls "The Longest Ride Home", at Sydney Opera House on November 20.
So far he’s pedalled 2,500 km “through the steamy jungles and paddy fields of Vietnam in intense wet season humidity dodging potholes, motorcycles, buffalos and lumbering lorries,” the release said.
He will leave HCMC for Bangkok on June 23, this time joined by other SAS veterans.
A world champion parachutist, Truck was awarded Australia’s Star of Courage in 2001 for saving his tandem parachute student in the 1995 accident.
After learning to walk with a prosthetic leg he led two trekking expeditions in Thailand and has completed charity bike rides around Asia, especially in Vietnam.
He said he set his sights on “the long ride home
” to Australia as a friendship initiative between Australia and Asia and to support injured veterans.