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Prince Charles may join walk for Forces heroes

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 04, 2013

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PRINCE Charles could be among those taking time out to support a major fundraiser which will help transform the lives of injured veterans and their families.

The prince, who is the Colonel in Chief of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said he was delighted to be the patron of the Walk on Wales, which will see thousands of people step out in support of two forces charities.

Both the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal and Combat Stress will benefit as teams tackle the 870-mile Welsh Coast Path carrying a silver baton inscribed with the names of the 50 Welsh Guardsmen who were killed on tours to the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The walk will get under way on August 25 and will be completed in November with a £1 million target.

Wales and Ospreys star Ryan Jones along with the adventurer Bear Grylls have pledged their support to help raise funds.

Prince Charles, in a statement, said: "As patron of Walk on Wales — thanks a million, I could not be more delighted to lend my support to the vital contribution by both the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal and Combat Stress; two charities that are close to my heart. Our servicemen and women, without question or hesitation, deploy routinely to incredibly dangerous and challenging places, such as Afghanistan, out of a sense of duty to, and pride in, their regiment, their community and the country they serve.

"We, as a nation, owe them a huge debt of gratitude for all that they endure on our behalf.

"It is therefore only right, remembering this, that the bereaved families of those who tragically lost their lives and the wounded, some with life-changing injuries, receive vital care and support, not just now, but also in the future.

"Walk on Wales aims to raise £1 million for these two charities in order to provide and safeguard this lifetime of support."

Lieutenant Colonel Dino Bossi, commanding officer of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said the prince hoped to walk in support of the two charities.

He said: "The Prince of Wales has made time in his diary and is hoping to take part in the Walk on Wales if he can."

The lieutenant colonel added that the fundraiser, which was dreamt up by two veteran Welsh Guards, Jan Koops and David Graham, who both served in the Falklands, "came out of the clear blue sky."

But he believed the mammoth fundraising target could be beaten given that so far £71,000 had already been raised before fundraisers had even walked a step.

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 04 2013, 3:03PM

    weslangdon yes i agree. It was the MOD who got them injured, and it's they who should pay for their upkeep. And anyone who is asked to give to a charity should make this very clear. Why should we subsidies the armed forces when they walk away. PS anyone thinking of joining the army be made fully aware of this fact.

  • weslangdon  |  February 04 2013, 2:55PM

    The Govt has an absolute duty to provide care and support to injured servicemen, I see no role for private charities or fundraising organisations at all.

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 04 2013, 11:03AM

    During the past few weeks Welsh Guards have marched through several welsh towns. I've been very interested in this, and on a recent walk through Aberystwyth my suspicions were confirmed. These soldiers were transported for their base in London for the march in question. Of course i do understand that they would want to parade in front of their families and do not begrudge them that. What annoys me is the cost, in times of austerity and cut backs it seems madness for this to go on. Far better if this money was used to help injured soldiers. It would be great if there were money for both, but it seems there is not as the defense budget does not stretch to the £1 million needed to help these men