Veteran Phil Bartlett celebrated his 60th birthday in an incredibly unique way - by walking across the country for a military charity.

The special day marked the end of a 268-mile fund-raising journey for Help For Heroes that started in Colchester 18 days earlier.

Forces Radio BFBS Catterick's Danny Parkinson spoke to Phil and asked why raising money for Help For Heroes is so important to him.

"Civilians do not understand the bond that members of our Armed Forces have, veterans included, have with each other.

"We will help in any way that we can, any member of our family whether we know them or whether we don't, we will help."

Phil Bartlett flies the flag for Help for Hero's
Phil Bartlett flies the flag for Help for Heroes

After being persuaded not to run to each of the Help for Heroes recovery centres based across the UK, Phil decided to take on a momentous journey from Chavasse VC House in Colchester to Phoenix House in Catterick.

Only two days in Phil suffered from a stress fracture on his leg but that didn’t stop him. He taped it up and carried on, going on to walk another 16 days.

“I’ve had people say you won’t do it, I proved them wrong, I’m coming for your money”

Phil Bartlett Phoenix House Catterick Garrison Richmond Help For Heroes

Car horns honked and a welcome home sign plus balloons decorated the outside of Phoenix House as Phil's flag came into the sight of those waiting for his arrival after being on the paths of the UK for two and a half weeks.

Phil’s family and friends gathered from around the country to give him a well-deserved ovation as he made his way through the gates of Phoenix House recovery centre.

"I wasn't expecting the amount of people that was here, to be honest. All I was expecting was a cup of tea and a cake.

"To receive that welcome was just amazing, it really was."

Phil Bartlett finishes Epic journey

The journey has already gained momentum, so far raising more than £1,000 for Help for Heroes, a charity close to Phil's heart.

Phil explains on his Just Giving page why raising money for Help For Heroes is so important to him.

"I feel that our armed forces personnel make sacrifices every single day, and anything WE can do to give back to those who have given so much is important."

Phil has spent eight years taking on charity challenges for Help For Heroes with the aim of raising more than £100,000 by the end of 2018.

More from Forces Network: Great Garrison Gallop - The Veteran Running For His Wounded Brothers And Sisters

Instead of collapsing with exhaustion after such a long run Phil was, within minutes of arriving at Phoenix House, ready to turn around and run another 268-miles.

After a cup of tea and a piece of cake, Phil is already planning his epic adventure in aid of Help for Heroes.

“Roll on the next one.”

Phil gets his well deserved cup of tea
Phil gets his well deserved cup of tea

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