Sgt Duncan Slater awarded with the Honorary Freeman of Diss
PUBLISHED: 21:23 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 21:23 01 May 2018
An Afghanistan veteran who has overcome adversity to raise thousands of pounds for charity has been honoured with the highest civic honours a town council can bestow.
Sgt Duncan Slater was presented with the Honorary Freeman of Diss at the town’s annual meeting yesterday, in front of his family, members of the community and council representatives.
The honour has only been awarded once before, in 2012, to the Royal Anglian Regiment.
In 2009 Sgt Slater, from Scole, suffered life-changing injuries when the armoured vehicle he was travelling in was struck by a roadside bomb in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Since then he has completed the London Marathon and overcome adversity to complete several challenges including becoming the first double amputee to reach the South Pole and finish the gruelling Marathon de Sables in the Sahara desert.
As well as becoming an ambassador for the charity Walking With The Wounded, an organisation which helps and supports veterans reintegrate back into society and find sustainable employment.
Upon receiving the honour, Sgt Slater said it had come as a shock but meant a huge amount to him.
Thanking the town for making him and his family feel so welcome since they moved to the area he said: “It means that when I’m off doing these stupid things I can think about all the people that stopped me and supported me.
“I can think about the person who gave me £5 in the high street, and it just makes it all feel worth it.”
Trevor Wenman, mayor of Diss, who presented Sgt Slater with the award, said: “Duncan has become an inspiration to people after sustaining injuries during his service in Afghanistan, overcoming adversity to undertake challenges and to fund raise for the charity Walking With The Wounded.
“In the service of his country, Sgt Slater experienced the worst of humanity and in his response to it and the injuries he sustained, he showed us the best of humanity.”
Alongside a ceremonial glass key, and a certificate presented to Sgt Slater at the town meeting a plague has been laid on the board walk over looking Diss Mere.