The Long Ride Home brings back the Australian flag which is to be symbolic of the Latin phrase nemo resideo, or “Leave no one behind”. Either those who have suffered death, or physical and/or psychological trauma shall not be left behind or forgotten.

VISION

Australians are world leaders in the support and care of our military veterans who through military conflicts have suffered death, or physical and/or psychological trauma. Setting the global benchmark standards for Recognition, Prevention, Care and Cure for our afflicted Defence personnel.

MISSION

Primary Objective:

To create awareness, educate and motivate the Australian public to achieve support and care for our military veterans who have suffered death, or physical and/or psychological trauma through military service to our country.

This support and care extends to the families and communities that are effected through the death of their veterans and especially to the ongoing debilitating effects of their physical disability and psychological trauma such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There is a strong focus on boosting awareness for the Recognition, Care, Cure and Prevention strategies for psychological trauma.


LAURIE ‘TRUCK’ SAMS

Principal

Lead Rider Vietnam to Australia 10,000km

Former warrant officer with the Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SASR). Truck served in Vietnam and has 21 years’ service in the Australian Defence Force.

Awards

Star of Courage (Civilian Award), Australian Active Service medal clasp Vietnam War, The Vietnam Medal, Australian Service Medal 1942-75 for service in Papua New Guinea, Australian Service Medal 1975 Clasp SE Asia, Australian Sporting Medal (Civilian Honour and Award), Australian Services Defence Medal (for 21 years’ service), Australian Defence Medal, The Vietnamese Campaign Medal and The Infantry Combat Badge.

Skydiving and Parachuting Achievements

Laurie was team leader for the Army Parachute Team (Red Berets) and member of United States Army Parachute Demonstration & Competition Team (The Golden Knights) and inducted into their Hall of Fame and was a member of The United States Navy Parachute Team. Truck has completed 5,645 parachute jumps, was a World Championship Bronze Medallist, 11 times Australian Parachute Champion and an Australian Team member at six World Parachuting Championships including being Team Captain. Truck was a member of the International Seoul Olympic Skydiving Exhibition Team (SOSET) that jumped into the Seoul Olympic Stadium as part of the opening ceremony in 1988. Truck became an amputee losing his leg saving the life of a civilian for which he was awarded the Star of Courage.

Remembrance Expeditions and Rides

In 2005 under the patronage of the then Governor General of Australia His Excellency Major General The Honourable Mike Jeffery AC, AO (mil), CVO, MC (retd). Laurie led another successful expedition along the Thai Burma Death Railway taking two former SAS soldiers.

In 2002 under the patronage of the then Defence Minister, later Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mohamad Mahatir Laurie led an expedition of three Trekkers to:

1. retrace his father’s* footsteps from along the full length of the death railway (315 Kms) Thailand side.

2. pay homage to all POWs and Asian labourers who died building the death railway.

3. honour those POWs still living.

4. find missing Malaysian ( for the Malaysian government ) who were never repatriated home after the war.

5. report on the journey via local media, world press and television news on the expedition.

*Laurie’s father Private William Sams (deceased) served with the Australian Infantry (2/26 Battalion) in Malaya and became a prisoner of war (POW) after being captured shortly after the fall of Singapore. He later was sent to work on the infamous Thai Burma Death Railway.

By 2014 Laurie had ridden 12,000 kms of Vietnam visiting major battle sites of the American and Australians; Long Tan, Khe Sanh, Ashau Valley, Hamburger Hill, full length of the central Highland along the Ho Chi Minh trail, Son Tay, the complete area of the Mekong Delta, and Da Nang through to the highlands along the Ho Chi Minh trail crossing the 17 parallel (during the war) to the French and Viet Minh battlefield of Dien Bien Phu (4 times) which was the deciding battle that ended 100 years of French rule. He has already completed cycling (as an amputee) from the North (Chiang Mai) to the South (Phuket) 2,400 Kms in 23 days to raise money for operation smile and the blind society of Thailand.


SUPPORT TEAM

WAYNE LARKIN

Event Director

Wayne is a marketer and championship parachutist with more than 38 years’ experience in marketing and advertising.  His Visual Design Group (www.visualdesigngroup.com) provided marketing and advertising services for the likes of BHP, Brambles Industries, CRA, Fairfax Media Group, WIN TV, Department of Defence as well as Federal, State and Local Governments.

Winner of 28 International and National Awards for Marketing, Advertising and Design Wayne is also a skier, ice skater, mountain climber, caver and parachutist, having completed more than 3000 jumps and represented Australia internationally and on demonstration descents with Laurie Sams.  Email: Wayne.Larkin@thelongridehome.com.au


BILL GRAY

Public Relations

As a National Serviceman, Bill served with 1 and 2 SAS Squadrons in Vietnam before returning to journalism with The Age, ABC, Nine Network and Herald & Weekly Times group, where he worked as a foreign correspondent based in London covering UK-Europe and Singapore covering South East Asia.

Bill left journalism to take over the PR role at the Australian Tourist Commission during the Paul Hogan era before leaving in 1993 to set up Sydney-based MG Media Communications (www.mgmedia.com.au), an award winning PR consultancy specialising in travel, tourism and lifestyle. Email: bill@mgmedia.com.au


JEFF BEACH 

Online Technology

Jeff’s Warburton-based company Bigdog Software (www.bigdogsoftware.com.au) is an independent software development and integration consultancy specialising in internet and database development, network implementation, application training, data entry, and system auditing.

Clients include National Australia Bank (property asset management implementation), National Australia Bank (strategic accommodation planning) and Department of Defence (NORCOM network management application user training).

Email: Jeff.Beach@thelongridehome.com.au