- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Prince Harry is heading to the Arctic, showing his support for Britain’s wounded Afghanistan war veterans by joining part of their punishing expedition to the North Pole.

Harry travels to frigid northern Norway on Tuesday for three days of training and five days of trekking on a trip organized by the Walking With the Wounded charity, of which he is a patron.

The group includes four British soldiers who were seriously wounded while on active duty, including two amputees.

“What the Walking With The Wounded North Pole Team is undertaking is an enormous adventure of the most challenging order,” Harry said in a statement Friday.

The charity hopes to raise 2 million pounds ($3.2 million) through donations and sponsorships for the expedition. Harry said he hopes the money “will make a life-changing difference to injured servicemen and women from our Armed Forces.”

The four wounded men will be joined by two expedition leaders and a Norwegian guide familiar with the region.

The expedition is expected to take four weeks and cover roughly 200 miles (320 kilometers) of frozen Arctic Ocean territory by foot. The group will be pulling their own equipment in sleds in temperatures expected to drop far below zero.

The wounded men making the trip are Afghanistan veterans Capt. Martin Hewitt, 30, Capt. Guy Disney, 28, Sgt. Steve Young, 28, and Pvt. Jaco Van Gass, 24.

“Through this expedition, we aim to demonstrate to injured servicemen and women of all ranks that you can achieve great things post-injury,” Hewitt said. “Our training is complete and now it’s time to freeze.”

Harry plans to leave the group April 5 to resume his military training and to serve as the best man at his brother Prince William’s April 29 wedding.



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