They have done it!! All 45 teams of the Help for Heroes 4x4 European Rally have completed their 'Final Mission', and made it to the 'impenatrable' Eagle's Nest in Bavaria. Throughout their journey they have followed in the footsteps of the Allied forces who set about liberating Europe in 1944, paid their respects to those who paid the ultimate price on the Western Front in World War One, and also tested their vehicles to the limit with many off-road challenges.
Keith Bowen and his son, Tim Price-Bowen, have been dedicated to the 4x4 rally for the last 5 years, and without their astounding hard work and unwavering support the rally wouldn't have raised an overwhelming £1,000,000 for Help for Heroes. Back in 2010 their aim was to take 20 cars through Europe and raise £20,000 for Help for Heroes. However, five years later, and with their sixth rally complete, they have taken a total of 275 teams on a historical tour and raised 50x their original target.
While each rally has followed a similar path, the stories have all been unique. The 'Final Mission' is no exception to this, and it will have created timeless memories for all involved. This includes the Help for Heroes Band of Brother team. Brendan Prudom and Curtis Pugh set off from Littlecote House in Berkshire on Saturday 13th June like two excited children on Christmas eve, with a 2000 mile adventure stretched out in front of them. After both having their military careers cut short due to injury, they relished the challenge of taking their Discovery 4 (which was kindly loaned to them by Jaguar Land Rover) through 7 different European countries, and paying their respects to those who fell in the fight for freedom all those years ago.
Alongside the Band of Brother crew was 44 other teams, all who have spent months fundraising towards the rally's staggering total. Every member of every team has shown such unbelievable support to Help for Heroes, and they will all have a profound impact on the support that Help for Heroes can give to our wounded, injured and sick. While all the teams, from every year, will have made memories that will last a them a lifetime on the rally, they have also made such a valuable contribution to the lives of our Servicemen, women and veterans.
The ' Final Mission' of the Help for Heroes 4x4 European Rally may be complete, and their wheels may have stopped turning, but the contribution that Keith, Tim and all those that have followed them across Europe (and through the decades) have made to so many lives, and the memories and friendships they have personally made, will be cherished for many years to come.