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Amputee cyclist arrives in Melbourne

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016 Rachel Gray

Laurie "Truck" Sams, a one-legged cyclist and Vietnam veteran, has arrived in Melbourne to raise awareness of veteran suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Sams is nearing the end of his 10,000 kilometre journey from Hanoi to the Sydney Opera House, where he is expected to arrive on November 20.

A survivor of PTSD himself, it was not until years after returning from Vietnam in 1971 that he was diagnosed with the disorder.

"I was crawling down the hallways at night-time in my sleep like I was still in the war," Mr Sams told AAP on Monday of the "whole cocktail" of symptoms he experienced.

Anger, frustration, anxiety attacks, paranoia and nightmares steadily increased after he returned from the war.

Yet it was not until he froze on a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne and he had to be wheeled off the plane that he finally sought help.

"My whole body closed down," the 67-year-old recalls.

After seeing soldiers returning from places such as Afghanistan not getting the help they needed, the former Special Air Service warrant officer decided to take action.

His 10,000km ride from Hanoi to Sydney - representing the 10,000 days of the Vietnam war - is all about raising awareness of PTSD.

Mr Sams lost his leg in 1995 when he rolled under his student after the parachute failed to open during a tandem skydive jump.

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