Blind Veterans - Special Observer Lance Bombardier Rob Long lost his sight on the 8th July 2010 in the Sangin township in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was on deep battlefield surveillance in the 4-73 special Op battery of a 7 man patrol. An IED was triggered and the shrapnel blast eviscerated his left eye, his combat helmet was split in half, he had a depress skull fracture, right eye damaged and had over 300 fractures over his face and skull. Within 24 hours he was back in the Uk at a Birmingham hospital where they had to remove both eyes. He was exhausted but after 2 and half weeks he discharged himself to attend the funeral of his patrol commander who was killed In the same blast. âFrom going from a front line soldier to having to hold someones hand to walk down the road shattered his identity but he found a new life as a Jiu-Jitsu champion beating both blind and able bodied competitors.