By Kirsty Topping
A HERO soldier is battling the terrible injuries he suffered in Afghanistan to make his brother’s wedding later this month.
Lance Corporal James Chalmers, whose father is a senior figure in the Kirk, suffered head, body and leg injuries in the May 27 blast, which killed two colleagues.
Despite his appalling wounds, the soldier is determined to get himself fit enough to be temporarily released from military hospital to attend his brother David’s wedding in less than three weeks.
James, known as JJ to friends, is being treated at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, where his condition remains serious.
His father, Rev John Chalmers, Principal Clerk of the Church of Scotland, said his son’s condition was improving.
“He is now able to speak to us and understand us which is a huge improvement.
“David is getting married in three weeks’ time and that has become a focus for us.
“JJ would dearly love to be there and the medical team will do their utmost to get him there, even if it is only for a few hours. “
Rev Chalmers added:
“He is improving each day but it sometimes feels like two steps forward and one step back. At least that is heading in the right direction.
“He has undergone extensive surgery and every day is like climbing a mountain for us but JJ is strong and is fighting his way back with every fibre of his being. “
Rev Chalmerssaid his family, from Dunfermline, Fife, had been
“overwhelmed’ by messages of support pouring in from around the globe.
“We have been overwhelmed by the good wishes and prayers of people, some from all over the world and others from our neighbours and friends.
“JJ has received hundreds of cards, text messages and emails and every one is very much appreciated.
“Goodwill may be an invisible force but to those who are on the receiving end of it, it is tangible and real and almost touchable. Every single message helps lift his spirits and for that I am deeply grateful.
“This is just the start of a long journey for all of us but especially JJ.
“I am sure that with the support and goodwill we have experienced so far this is a journey that we can make. “
Fellow 42 Commando Marines Sam Alexander (28) and Lieutentant Ollie Augustin (23) died when an Improvised Explosive Device went off in the Loy Mandeh area of the Nad-e-Ali district in Helmand Province.
Rev Chalmers, his wife Liz, their other children Ruth and David and JJ’s girlfriend travelled to Birmingham to be by his side.
Since the Afghanistan conflict began 368 soldiers have been killed and 1,670 have been wounded in action.
Corporal Michael Pike, 26, from 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was recently killed when insurgents attacked his patrol with rocket-propelled grenades in Afghanistan.
His body was repatriated with two other soldiers killed on the frontline on Thursday night.
Colour Sergeant Alan
“Cammy’ Cameron from Bathgate, West Lothian died almost a year after being wounded in action and Lance Corporal Liam Tasker died with his dog Theo in March.
Hundreds of mourners turned out to the funerals of both men.
And in 2008 Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary John O’Donnell, a bomb disposal expert from Edinburgh who was twice awarded the George Cross, was killed as he approached a booby-trapped bomb.