THREE Army wives whose husbands were stationed in Afghanistan have shown their support by training for a 20-mile hike with 10kg on their backs.
Lauren Smart, 23, Lisa Wingrove, 24, and Mia Walker, 20, from Abingdon, decided they could not just sit at home while their husbands risked their lives abroad.
After six months of training, tomorrow they will march from White Horse Hill in Uffington to Newbury in full Army kit. It will take a punishing six hours, and they hope to raise £5,000 for Help for Heroes.
Mrs Smart explained: “We wanted to give something back to the forces. All the hard work they were doing, and we were back here having fun so we said, ‘let’s do something: let’s go on a crazy hike’.”
Under the supervision of their personal training assistant, provided by Dalton Barracks’ welfare support team, the three wives have been undergoing the same rigorous training regime as the armed forces.
“We have been told we should join up,” said Mrs Smart.
The ladies’ husbands are all privates with 4 Logistic Support Regiment, based at Dalton Barracks. They knew nothing about the plan until they returned home on October 4.
Private Daniel Smart said: “When I found out all they had been doing it was a bit of a shock.
“I think it is such a great thing.
“It is great that there are people out there to support the armed forces.”
But in a cruel twist, Mrs Walker recently hurt her ankle, and yesterday still did not know whether she would be able to join in the trek.
She said: “I have put four months into this. You get to that point and you just want to get it over and done with.”
She was waiting to find out from her doctor whether she could still go on the trek.
To find out more or to sponsor the soldiers’ spouses, go to facebook.com/thearmywiveshike