An Australind resident and Australian military veteran has set his sights on a new challenge for a cause close to his heart.
Dane Greenstreet has begun training and raising funds to participate in June’s Big Battlefield Bike Ride through France which raises awareness of issues faced by war veterans.
The five-day participation ride, now in its 10th year, will see around 200 riders travel from Compeigne – the site of the armistice – before travelling through the battlefields of Somme towards Mons, Belgium.
“It has got me back on the bike, it has got me moving again, and so the sense of achievement is probably the biggest thing,” Mr Greenstreet said.
“I have got a bit of a following on Facebook from veterans who are keeping an eye on me.
“If they can see me do this it may hopefully drag them out of a possible rut they may be in.”
Mr Greenstreet began his fundraising campaign after original sponsor Mates 4 Mates pulled its funding for the event late last year.
He was one of four riders, out of more than 40 applicants, to be picked to represent the organisation in this year’s ride.
Mr Greenstreet must raise at least $5500 to cover registration and participation costs.
The GoFundMe page, Fat Bloke and a Bike Does France, has raised over $4,630, edging closer to its $15,000 target.
Mr Greenstreet joined the Australian Army as a Marine Specialist at 17, going on to work across the East Coast and in the Northern Territory.
Throughout his military career, he was deployed to the Solomon Islands, East Timor, Tonga, Samoa, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan and the Middle East.
Mr Greenstreet’s final posting was the Army Cadet headquarters in Canberra, assisting in re-writing the training program. He was diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and depression in 2014.
He was medically discharged in 2016 after nearly 17 years of service.
Mr Greenstreet said cycling has greatly assisted with his recovery. Head to the ‘Fat Guy on a Bike Does France 18’ Facebook page or the GoFundMe page to donate.