Published: May 25, 2012
Burnham-On-Sea Air Cadet veteran's pride at carrying Olympic Flame

Burnham-On-Sea resident Tony Bird's tireless efforts with the Air Cadets led him to carry the Olympic Torch through Wells this week.

Warrant Officer Tony Bird, representing the Air Cadets, has been a volunteer for the cadets for the past 30 years and joined as a cadet at the age of 13 before becoming an adult volunteer twice a week. He has inspired many cadets, firstly in the Middlesex wing and currently in the Devon and Somerset wing.

And he does it all despite having the lower part of his right arm amputated from a very young age, telling his cadets "if I can do it, you can too."

Tony, who lives in Burnham's Mountbatten Close, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I was extremely proud to carry the torch on behalf of my organization, nominated by my wife."

"The day was so so special, it generated excitement and brought people together. The gleam in the kids eyes when they touched the torch was amazing."

"I ran up and down the High Street in Wells twice because I was dropped off in the wrong place but that made it even more special as I could please the crowd twice - all I can say is wow!"

His wife, Susi, who nominated him, said: "He constantly encourages youths to be the best they can be. He takes part with cadets, never expecting them to do anything he can't. This raises eyebrows as Tony is a lower arm amputee of his right arm."

"He takes them on expeditions to far flung places, revamping schools, bridges and raising monies to enable more to go. He has taken part in pot holing, abseiling, mountain climbing, has been a top marksman, is Deputy Wing Warrant Officer for the wing and trains ceremonial drill."

 


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