ONE of the most seriously-injured soldiers to survive the Afghan conflict is to be the main subject of an extraordinary BBC 2 documentary.
Journey Down the Yukon – A Soldier’s Challenge follows Ben Parkinson MBE and other injured soldiers as they kayak along Canada’s mighty Yukon River – a gruelling expedition hosted and paid for by Hampshire-based Pilgrim Bandits charity, of which Ben is an ambassador and patron.
Having to contend with freezing temperatures, bears, wolves and rapids, while living off reduced rations, those taking part could only eat what they could carry in their kayaks and had to camp alongside the river every night in sub-zero temperatures.
When questioned about his motivation, Ben said: “If someone says to you – you’ll never walk or talk, would you say ‘I’ll take it?”
Expedition leader Mike, who organised the challenge and accompanied Ben on the trip, said: “When we first met Ben he was in an electric wheelchair. He could hardly talk, but Ben’s a real special bloke you could see that there was still something there wanting to get out, all we have done is provide the opportunities for that to happen.”
Catch Journey Down the Yukon – A Soldier’s Challenge on BBC Two, Wednesday 16 December at 7pm. The documentary will also be available on BBC iPlayer.