Prince Charles may join walk for Forces heroes
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.
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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.