Veterans

Injured Afghanistan Veteran To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

The ex-Yorkshire Regiment member suffered life-changing injuries after standing on an IED in Afghanistan.

An Army veteran who was told he would never walk again is preparing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for charity.

Andy Reid, a Corporal with 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, was on patrol in Afghanistan in October 2009 when he stood on an improvised explosive device (IED).

He lost his right leg below the knee, left leg above the knee and his right arm as a result of the explosion.

After being flown back to the UK, Mr Reid astounded people with his recovery, spending only two weeks in hospital before he was ready to make his first trip home. 

"Well, immediately I just thought 'I’m a survivor, not a victim'," said Mr Reid who is now a motivational speaker.

"Two guys from a team I was in, unfortunately, paid the ultimate sacrifice and seven guys from my regiment were killed in Afghan.

"So I thought, out of respect for them, I’m gonna start setting myself some goals and start moving myself forward.

"That’s what it’s been about for me since day one, really, just goal setting, just set myself an immediate middle-term and long-term goal and try and continue on the journey that I’m on," he added.

Former soldier Andy Reid with his MBE medal, following an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London 261119 CREDIT PA
Andy Reid received an MBE in November 2019 (Picture: PA).

Since then many of those goals have been physical challenges including cycling and abseiling, all for charity.

But Mr Reid expects his latest challenge - climbing 19,341 feet up Mount Kilimanjaro - to be the hardest one yet.

"Climbing the world’s highest free-standing mountain is going to be probably the toughest challenge that I’ll face so far not just physically but also mentally as well," he said.

"I’m going out on a handcycle nearly every day doing 20 to 30km... and then I’m going up to the local park with kids doing lots of walking… just really trying to build up the strength in my legs, really, so I can hopefully get to the top in one piece."

Mr Reid plans to fly out to Tanzania in October.

He is raising money for his recently established The Standing Tall Foundation which aims to support young carers, the vulnerable and care leavers.