A FORMER Betws soldier will be facing one of his toughest challenges when he retraces the steps of those escaping the horrors of World War Two by trekking through the Pyrenees mountains to raise money for forces charity Help For Heroes.
Luke Toms, who served in the Royal Engineers for eight years, made the decision to take on the gruelling task following his own experiences fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The route Luke will be taking will be the same as that followed by oppressed civilians and stranded service men and women escaping from occupied France into Spain and eventually back to Britain.
“I will be trekking around 70km and up to an altitude of 2,588metres above sea level over four days,” said 28-year-old Luke.
“I know only too well the affect war has on soldiers and their families and can’t stress enough the ongoing support soldiers, veterans and their families require in order to gain a meaningful recovery.”
Help For Heroes is a UK-based charity that provides help, facilities and ongoing support for British servicemen and women who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty.
They provide prosthetics, rehabilitation and ongoing mental health support to the injured, and the families of the injured that are affected by the horrific injuries service personnel sustain in the line of duty.
Luke will start his trek on September 2 and be carring his own kit, weighing over 30kg.
“I’ve been preparing myself for the task ahead by doing weighted runs,” he said.
"It's going to be a challenge, but one I'm looking forward too."
You can sponsor Luke’s efforts by donating through his fundraising page bmycharity.com/LukeToms.