Forces Charities

Amputee veteran’s 457-lap track fundraising challenge for Afghanistan fallen

Former Welsh Fusilier Steve Owen was injured in Afghanistan in 2010.

An amputee veteran has completed a 457-lap track walking challenge in memory of the 457 fallen (2001-2021) in Afghanistan.

Thirty-two-year-old former Welsh Fusilier Steve Owen was injured in Afghanistan in 2010.  He had his leg amputated six years later, as a result of his injuries.

He walked the laps of a 400m running track in Carmarthen, Wales, to raise money for bereaved Forces children's charity, Scotty's Little Soldiers, and veteran’s charity, Woody's Lodge. He completed it in 42 hours.

Steve also wanted to pay tribute to all the Afghan fallen between 2001 and 2021, including those he served alongside.  Each lap of the track was named after one Afghan hero, and Steve carried a print-out of each person's name as he did their lap.

Steve decided to take up his challenge close to Remembrance Day, but also in response to the recent withdrawal of UK and coalition troops from Afghanistan.

"There’s been a lot of talk in the media about Afghanistan recently," he said, "with many people questioning whether soldiers died for nothing. But that’s not the case, we did make a difference.

"I served in Afghanistan alongside these men and women, and we should remember them. I lost a lot of mates during and after the conflict, so it means a lot to me that this challenge has meaning."

Steve is also the father of three young boys, so he chose to support charities which help young people.

Scotty's Little Soldiers is a charity Steve is very familiar with, and he understands what an important role it plays within the Forces community.

He added: "A lot of the men and women who sacrificed their lives have children and will not get the opportunity to see them grow up, so for me, raising money to help support those children was a priority.

"I have kids and I know only too well that after serving in Afghanistan they could have been left without a dad and knowing that a charity, like Scotty's, is there to help them as they grow up offers a great amount of comfort."

The charity is currently aiding hundreds of bereaved Forces children and young people around the UK, designed to remind the children and young people supported by Scotty's that help is there for them.

Charity founder Nikki Scott said, "Our members have all gone through so much and the recent issues in Afghanistan have been difficult for many of them to deal with. Thanks so much to Steve for helping us on our mission to ensure no bereaved Forces child or young person feels alone."

All money raised through Steve’s challenge will be split equally between Scotty's and Woody's Lodge.