Army veteran Chris Gee sets off on 20,000km charity ride to break ment – Ausnew Home Care

Army veteran Chris Gee sets off on 20,000km charity ride to break mental health cycle

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Chris Gee's smile sparkles through his eyes but, after 10 years in the army and 12 years as a paramedic, he's the first to admit those eyes have seen some terrible things.

He was in the armoured cavalry regiment of the Australian Army and, like many of his fellow veterans, witnessed the carnage of war.

"I've had some issues with mental health," he said.

The Townsville local and father of three said he realised he needed to do something drastic to clear his mind and help him heal from an accumulation of past traumas.

So, on Sunday after the city's Anzac Day commemorations were over, Mr Gee set off on his bike to cycle around Australia on his Resolute Ride.

The sun sets over the a dirt road, with a radio tower alongside, at Barcaldine.
The 20,000 kilometre ride is expected to take about six months to complete.(

ABC News: Chris Gillette


He's hoping the journey will raise funds for Northern Queensland Legacy, which cares for the families of deceased veterans, as well as break down the lingering stigma around mental health, and help him to shake off his own demons.

"This ride is about me heading out into the Never Never and coming back with a big reset," he said.

Man in blue shirt stands behind his bicycle in front of trees.
Mr Gee is raising money for the families of deceased veterans.(

ABC North Queensland: Mia Knight


Put your hand up, ask for help

Mr Gee said he hoped his ride would spark conversations around the country about the mental health of servicemen and women.

"One of the biggest hurdles to get over when you do have mental health issues is the stigma of mental health," he said.

"I did probably what a fair percentage of veterans or ex-paramedics or police or anyone working in a high-impact employment does — we just put it to the back [of our minds] and we worry about everyone else.

"I am happy to talk about it and that's part of this ride, to get around and talk to as many people as possible, and [to let them know] it's OK to put your hand up and say, 'I need some help.'

"It's not until you can actually put your hand up, which is a very hard thing to do, but once you do that, you can move forward.

The name Resolute Ride is a nod to Mr Gee's former regiment.

"The unit I served with was B-squadron 3rd 4th cavalry regiment and our motto was 'Resolute,'" he said.

"It shows that if you have a bit of resolve, you can get things done."

A bicycle leans against a brick wall with a large yellow pack attached to the back wheel and a blue pack attached to the front.
Chris Gee's supplies include a satellite phone and a tent so he can set up camp along the way.(



'I'm absolutely terrified'

The 20,000-kilometre journey is expected to take six months.

"I'm excited, but I'm also absolutely terrified by the prospect of doing this — it's a large challenge … mixed emotions," Mr Gee said.

Charters Towers is the first stop on his trip before he heads north-west to the Northern Territory.

"The plan is from here, up to Darwin, across to Broome, and then hug the coastline as much as I can all the way around," he said.

"I'm not going to Tasmania, not because it's not beautiful, but there's too many hills.

"I'll do Tasmania next time."

Mr Gee said he was aiming to cycle 100-150 kilometres every day, but he did not have a fundraising target in mind.

"I'm not putting a dollar value on it at all," he said.

"I don't want a negative aspect to the ride [if the target isn't reached]."

A landscape shot of the beach in Geraldton, white sand fades to crystal blue water. The port can be seen in the background.
Mr Gee plans to stick to the coastline as much as possible, meaning his route will take him through many regional towns including Geraldton, in WA, above.(

ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt: Chris Lewis


He is planning a slow and steady approach.

"It's not a race but I'll be the tortoise," he said.

Mr Gee said he planned to post updates to the Resolute Ride Facebook page every day.

"If I'm having a bad day as well, people need to see that … that's the main goal, let's talk more about [mental struggles]," he said.

Legacy has organised a Go Fund Me page for those wishing to donate.

Source: ABC

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