Woody’s Lodge is beaming with pride after our Manager at the West and Mid Wales branch, Steve Owen, recently walked an incredible 457 laps on a 400-meter running track in honour of the British lives lost in Afghanistan over the past 20 years. More amazingly, Steve embarked on this gruelling challenge as an amputee after losing his right leg in 2016 due to life-threatening injuries he endured while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.
The 32-year-old former Royal Welsh soldier took to the tracks on Saturday 6 November at the Carmarthen Running Track in Wales, where he walked a phenomenal 113 miles or 182 kilometres. Steve named and dedicated a lap to one of the fallen soldiers and carried a print-out of each soldier’s name as he did their lap.
When speaking to the media, he said that seeing the names of those who lost their lives in Afghanistan motivated him to power through when the challenge got tough. It took him 42 hours to complete, and more impressively, he accomplished this without any sleep.
Through his admirable efforts, the father of three from Cardigan, Wales, so far raised £2 985 for Woody’s Lodge and another charity close to his heart named Scotty’s Little Soldiers. He chose these charities due to the life-changing work they do for the armed forces community across the UK.
Steve, who joined the army at just 16-years-old, chose the specific date of the challenge for two reasons – firstly, to tie in with Remembrance Day on 14 November and secondly, as a response to the recent withdrawal of the UK and coalition troops from Afghanistan. He explained that the media coverage of the withdrawal led to people questioning if the soldiers died in vain. In response, he used the challenge to let the country know that every member of the army made a difference and should be remembered.
Valuable team member at Woody’s Lodge
At Woody’s Lodge, Steve is a valuable member of the team, and we are in awe of his efforts in raising awareness for those in the armed forces and their families.
Graham, our CEO says:
“Steve exemplifies everything Woody’s stands for, and his never-give-up spirit allows him to achieve the impossible. In fact, just four months after his amputation in 2016, he jumped at the opportunity to do a 26 mile sponsored walk and even though he tore his stump in the process, he was able to push himself and keep going.
“It is this unrelenting attitude that Steve brings to our organisation every day by going the extra mile to help veterans and their loved ones in any way possible. His 400-meter walk is testament to how deeply he cares for the community and how far he’s willing to go to raise money and awareness.”
Scotty’s Little Soldiers
As a dad of three young boys, Steve understands the importance of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity for bereaved British Forces children. He says he knows all too well that his kids could have been left without a father. But organisations like Scotty’s provided him peace of mind knowing his kids had a place of comfort and support if he didn’t make it out of Afghanistan alive.
Through the funds raised, he wants to help better the lives of children who lost their mothers or fathers while serving the country.
For Steve, the knowledge gained through life experiences holds the most value if you pass it on to others. With this philosophy guiding him, he hopes to lead by example and show people that even though he lost his leg in harrowing circumstances, he keeps doing all kinds of things to raise money for worthy charities. The veteran wants to inspire others, get them out of their comfort zone, and encourage them to do something for a cause that is important to them.
If you would like to donate to Woody’s Lodge you can find ways you can give back through us.
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