John, 57, is taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
Father-of-four John, originally from Dundee and now living in Worcestershire, was inspired after meeting fellow Scotsman Doddie,.
John, who joined the army aged 19 and served until 1996, and was in the SAS, said: “I met Doddie at Malvern College three years ago where he was giving an after-dinner speech, which in true Doddie style was funny, warm and full of hilarious anecdotes.
“I then bumped into him at Murrayfield where I was watching Scotland play England. Last minute ticket bookings meant that my son Hamish and myself were in a room with about 95 England supporters, we couldn’t get in the Scottish wing with Doddie and fellow Scotsman. Upon hearing this Doddie picked Hamish up under his arm and carried him into the room and gave an inspirational talk about how you can do anything you want to do and how important children are to the future of rugby. It meant a lot to Hamish, who was nine at the time.
“So it just felt right to support his foundation with this challenge.”
To call John’s Atlantic row ‘a challenge’ is something of an understatement. It will take him one million strokes of the oar to traverse the 3,000-mile expanse.
You can follow John's progress and support his efforts by visiting justgiving.com/fundraising/madgiraffeatlanticrow
“That idea of honouring someone special is behind me doing this challenge.”
See madgiraffeatlanticrow.co.uk for more on John’s challenge and how to donate.