AB Gets His Wings
Richard Bland (Author)
August 12, 2019
8.5 X 0.1 X 8.5 inches | 0.26 pounds
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About the Author
Richard was born in Birmingham in 1958 and owns his own successful soft furnishing and upholstery business. An avid photographer, it was his skill at aerial photography that drew the attention of staff at RAF Valley in Anglesey. Over the years, Richard formed a close bond with the aviation team, providing stunning photographs of jets in action through the Welsh mountains and further abroad. The trust, respect and relationship with members of the RAF team grew and Richard involved himself in their fundraising and promotional activities. Tragically, in April 2013 Richard's son Andrew committed suicide. This devastating loss was compounded by the silence which surrounds the issue of suicide and the taboo of male mental health. Whilst trying to cope with his own grief, Richard became acutely aware of how poor mental health affects members of the Armed Forces, with RAF crew talking about their struggles with depression, anxiety and suicide. Richard started to think of a creative way in which he could change people's perceptions, challenge misconceptions and bring this subject to wider public attention. It would be a fitting legacy for Andrew... and this is where the idea of a book was born. Richard has a bear which is the Station Mascot for RAF Valley and travels the globe with the RAF pilots. The bear has its own log book and photographic record. And so Richard decided to re-name the bear in memory of his son: Wing Commander Andrew Bland or W.C.A.B. for short! This series of charming short stories is based upon this adorable bear's adventures in the skies and explores emotions and feelings associated with anxiety, fear and low mood. The book has been privately funded and sale proceeds will be donated to charity. Richard lives with his wife Sue, their children and grandchildren in Staffordshire.