Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Walthamstow man walked 52 miles for veterans in father's honour

Joe's father died while serving in Oman in the 1990s

Hero for Walthamstow man walked 52 miles for veterans in father's honour
Joe Swift (credit: Walking With The Wounded)
By Victoria Munro 24 December 2021

A Walthamstow man walked 52 miles to raise money for veterans in honour of his late father, who died while serving in Oman. 

Joe Swift walked from Weymouth to Exmouth on 18th-19th December to support Walking With The Wounded’s ‘Walking Home For Christmas’ campaign

The charity provides mental health and employment support for vulnerable veterans and, this year, is focusing on the mental impact of the Covid pandemic. 

Joe was determined to take part to pay forward the support his own family received after the death of his father, Major Anthony Lewis Swift, in the 1990s.

Joe said, “The vividness of the pain in my Mum’s eyes is still as clear to me as the moment she told my sister and I our Dad was no longer with us. We were a strong and loving family, with my sister and I just about to experience the trials and tribulations of our teenage years. 

“Those years turned out to be much different than they should have been, but we pulled through with the help of other people’s kindness and that of charity. There were helpful pay-outs from Armed Forces charities which, I remember, my mum spent on a jukebox, so we could dance together.

“Charities like Walking With The Wounded need to continue supporting those who serve and are negatively affected, both mentally and physically, by their serving experiences. Nobody deserves to be wounded at work whilst trying to earn a crust; but that is sometimes the reality when serving in the Armed Forces, and that is why I choose to support WWTW.”