AN EX-SERVICEMAN who lost his speech while serving in Afghanistan has been presented with a text-to-speech aid to help him communicate. Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson lost both his legs and suffered brain damage when his vehicle hit a mine in Helmand Province in 2008. Toby Churchill Ltd, which designs and manufactures innovative text-to-speech aids, presented Ben with a Lightwriter SL40, the company's flagship product, to help him communicate with his family and friends. The company has supplied Lightwriters to over 40,000 people in its 36-year history. Toby Churchill Ltd chairman David Collison said: "Ben's story hit the headlines and we wanted to help. We were delighted to welcome Ben and his family to our open day and to present him with our latest text-to-speech communication aid, which will assist in the rehabilitation of his speech. We hope this will inspire other people in a similar situation.