HMAS Choules’ personnel were inspired to raise funds for Soldier On this month when Leading Seaman Stephen Sadler got moving for the March On fundraiser.
CAPTION: Leading Seaman Stephen Sadler took part in the March On fundraiser on board HMAS Choules. Story and photo by Able Seaman Jasmine Moody.
Leading Seaman Sadler ran 192km and raised over $6000, placing him in the top 10 fundraisers, with his shipmates adding an additional $3689.
The money will go towards helping to prevent veteran suicide by providing mental health services for veterans and their families, which is something close to Leading Seaman Sadler’s heart.
Leading Seaman Sadler joined the Navy in 2009 from his hometown of Christie’s Beach in Adelaide, and spent his first six years as a marine technician.
But in 2015, personal issues prompted his decision to discharge so he could be closer to family.
He spent time working for a Defence contractor, utilising his trade as a fitter and technical writer, but transitioned back into the ADF in 2018.
He was ready to get back out to sea after realising how much he missed the camaraderie.
The March On fundraiser gave Leading Seaman Sadler the perfect opportunity to support other veterans and their families and get himself back into routine in the process.
“I’ve battled with my own mental health issues in the past and I thought this would be a great cause to kickstart my exercise regime to get me out of a rut and moving again,” he said.
“I knew I had a lot of support on board and that my shipmates would get behind me and help raise money for such a great cause.”
While at sea, Leading Seaman Sadler completes his running on the treadmill and the flight deck when he can.
Back home he much prefers to be outside and running around his neighbourhood.
“At first, I was motivated to get involved in the fundraising but I struggled to find the motivation to get back into training,” he said.
“It feels great getting back into it and I feel motivated to start doing marathons when the month is over.
“I get in the zone with music to start and when it gets toward the end, I start to break down the remaining metres in my head and remind myself why I started. The mind is a powerful thing.”