Soldier ‘not giving up’ on campaign for sperm bank

Rick Clement
Rick Clement
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A soldier has spoken of his disappointment after the Ministry of Defence rejected his plea for a forces sperm bank.

Sergeant Rick Clement lost both legs and was left unable to father children after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan nearly four years ago.

The 34-year-old said he wanted to spare comrades the same heartbreak, asking the MoD to introduce a system allowing soldiers to provide sperm samples before going to war zones. His request was turned down by MoD officials, but the former Clitheroe Grammar pupil is determined to continue his fight.

Rick, from Chatburn in the Ribble Valley, said: “I’m not going to give up just yet - it is disappointing but it’s exactly what I was expecting.

“If it does happen to one guy and they have frozen sperm from my campaign and learned from what happened to me, then it will be worth it. Even if it’s just one person, for somebody to be able to have a child in circumstances like mine then it would be amazing.”

An MoD spokesman said: “We recognise the devastating impact these rare but serious injuries can have, which is why the UK was the first country to give men and women a multi-tiered pelvic protection system. The equipment was developed once the full impact and threat of IEDs became apparent and all troops in Afghanistan receive this life-saving equipment.

“Because the number of service personnel suffering from serious groin injuries is extremely low, there are no current plans to introduce a system to store sperm or ova pre-deployment. However, advice is available for all service personnel pre-deployment and we would encourage anyone interested in finding out more to speak to their Chain of Command.”