Heartache as soldier splits from his wife

Sgt Rick Clement, who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan, with his wife Leanne.
Sgt Rick Clement, who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan, with his wife Leanne.
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A HERO soldier has spoken of his heartache after splitting with his wife of less than two years.

Sgt Rick Clements, who suffered horrific injuries in a bomb blast while on a tour in Afghanistan in May 2010, said he and wife Leanne remained friends despite their marriage breaking down.

The 33-year-old moved to Blackpool after meeting Leanne, who has two children from a previous relationship, on Facebook in 2008.

After Rick was injured, Leanne stayed by his side and the couple married at Mains Hall in Singleton on June 4 2011.

But the pressures of coping with his injuries, which mean Rick cannot have children, were too difficult to overcome.

He said: “There were various pressures but my injuries were a big part of it.

“But without a doubt, after I was first injured it would have been a lot more difficult for me without Leanne and her love and support at that time is something I will always thank her for.

“We had gone from being a very happy, active couple, dreaming of a long future together to a relationship more like being brother and sister.

“She has moved out of the home we shared, but there is no animosity and we talk at least once a week, if not more.

“I see her and her children.”

Rick, who lives in South Shore, set up his own charity A Soldier’s Journey and last year carried the Olympic Torch through Blackpool.

He added: “It was because of meeting Leanne that I moved to Blackpool, and I intend to stay here as I love the place.

“I have had tremendous support here.”

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‘There were pressures but my injuries were a big part’

Rick was serving in the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment when he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010.

On May 27 that year he was leading a foot patrol in Helmand province when he stepped on a mine.

He lost both legs, suffered terrible internal injuries and was told he could never have children.

Rick, who had been in the army for 15 years, received around £58,000 from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and has since raised thousands of pounds for charity.

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