OPERATION WESTERN BANDITS (US, UK and NZ Pilgrim Bandits

Testimonial from Grant Stewart – Retired Royal NZ Navy Sailor

Kia Ora Koutou Katoa,
Operation Western Bandits 2019
With trepidation I agreed to this deployment.  I felt what had i agreed to was way out of my normal comfort zone, i was trapped in my house after my wheels fell of last year, in March.

PTSD, Mental health, whatever you want to call is real, my mental health got worse, I was lost alone, not belonging, a lost cause, struggling with suicide.

Any way I took the plunge into unknown waters with Fox Bravo Overland and Pilgrim Bandits UK and NZ.  Our first night together at a team dinner, it took a dinner and few drinks for everyone to losen up and introduce ourselves, what a top bunch of blokes.

Like minded men whom are cut from the same cloth, pushing their individual demons.

We had 13 Rigs, 26 men, a dog (TROOPER) , 10 UK Vets, 2 NZ Vets and 2000 Miles of off roading.

I had two amazing personal milestones/ acheviements, one was getting to the top of Eureka Dunes.  Thank you Dave Brady for the drive and motivation.  I will never forget that brother! The other was on Memorial Day, where we shared the loss of a brother in arms.  We all were Privileged to show our respects, Greg Walton, what an honour! that will always hold a special place in my heart.

We have shared and supported each other.   Alot of Alfa males but it worked perfect.  Shooting, another highlight, the vast variety of weapons. Special thanks to Richard the Cook – top food.

My physiologist was so pleased, this has helped me so much on my Journey moving forward.  My lighthouse is beaming bright again.  It’s  ok if the Fog starts to roll in, Hold Fast, It won’t always be foggy.
Hooky – my brother shared this with me through my dark times , DONT TELL ME SHOW ME. I’ve shown myself I’m not alone.

I feel i have grown so much, being with great men when never put you down and only wanna pick you up, keep going,
I have been told and I have seen a change in me.

A huge shout out to Amy Baynes, and Mark Appleton Pilgrim Bandits NZ for this amazing opportunity and life changing experience,. To my Pilgrim Bandits UK brothers and Fox Bravo Overland brothers and Trooper, bless you all, much love and respect, I’m here for you all.

I am so pleased, I attended this trip.  I’ve grown so much and will do anything for Pilgrim Bandits.

Dont tell me show me,

ALWAYS A LITTLE FURTHER.

To the Big Boss Mike, thank you for such an surreal experience and a top notched Charity very grateful.

A very massive thank you to Amy Banes and Mark Appleton for choosing me and believing in me .

Shout out to Fox Bravo and Pilgrim Bandits UK
Much love and respect.

I, hand on my Heart, got so much out of the trip – eternally grateful.

Arohanui Kia kaha Whanau