Team 3 - Keith Lewis (2nd left)

The first half of Anglesey will be walked by Keith Lewis and his team. Talking here about his motivation for Walk on Wales, he says: "Lesley and I have been married for 26 years and we have four children, two grandchildren and a son-in-law who is currently on his third tour of OP Herrick with 32 Regt RA.  My son Jason and nephew Andy Woosnam have both served with the Welsh Guards; I also have two great nephews Joe and Guy Woosnam currently serving, who have both recently returned from OP Herrick."

"It was during the Falklands War as a 21 year old in a dead end job in Holyhead that I had my first real desire to join the Army and with the persuasion of a very good friend, Guardsman David Rowlands (2 Coy), I boarded a train to the Careers Office in Bangor. 

After a summer of fitness training, interviews, tests and medicals I finally collected my Queens Shilling on 8 February 1983 and a week later on 14 February I took the nervous train journey to Brookwood to start my basic training at the infamous Guards Depot, Pirbright.  I passed out in August and took the short walk to Elizabeth Barracks to find that the Battalion had deployed on exercise to Cyprus!

My original plan was to do six years and definitely no more than nine; but the years just rolled on by and in what now seems like a blink of an eye I had completed my 22!  Undeterred I took up a post with the Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) within 160 (W) Brigade as a Training Safety Advisor and hope to maintain this post until I’m 55 thereby completing 33 years.

When I joined the Battalion, the Falklands War was still very much in the minds of many of the serving men and the external injuries plain to see, however, the mental scars were blind to most of us.   I believe had a charity like Combat Stress been readily available 30 years ago many of the scars would have been healed and families, friends and comrades would not have suffered so much over these past 3 decades. 

Most recently we have seen the Welsh Guards deploy on two very demanding operational tours of Afghanistan where several of our men have paid the ultimate sacrifice.  In addition we have had many more battle field casualties, some with life changing injuries and many more with combat stress injuries that are far more difficult to see and treat.

It is because of this that as soon as I heard about WOW I knew in an instant that I wanted to get involved to do my little bit to help.  The Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal and Combat Stress are two incredibly worthwhile charities that deserve all the support they are rightly given and I am convinced the Welsh public will give generously both in coin and spirit.