A WOUNDED soldier aiming to raise $100,000 via a fund-raising trek from Sydney to Canberra enjoyed a stopover in Shellharbour City last week.
Melbourne's Liam Haven, his guide dog Omen and support crew were greeted by council staff as they crossed Windang Bridge last Friday morning.
The 25-year-old was on the fourth day of his trek.
Funds raised via the One Foot Forward Walk will go to Guide Dogs Victoria and Soldier On.
Soldier On supports Australian servicemen and women who have been wounded, physically or psychologically, in contemporary conflicts.
Having joined the army as a teenager, Mr Haven was wounded by a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) in 2008 when on a routine patrol in Iraq.
The explosion robbed him of most of his sight. He now has only 2 per cent of his vision.
Since returning to Australia, he remains in the Australian Defence Force in a transitional capacity.
He is also one of Soldier On's Wounded Ambassadors.
He has spent two years studying community services and will undertake a social psychology degree next year.
"My plan is to get out and maybe work for Soldier On, doing case management or counselling and using my experiences to help others," he said.
He hopes the walk will raise money and awareness for other men and women wounded in service.
"The goal is to ease the transition between defence life and civilian life for wounded soldiers," he said.
"It's about showing them that it's not the end after they leave."
"You only hear about the KIAs [killed in actions] and the major woundings, but there are a lot of guys injured in IED blasts who come back with mental injuries and all need help."
Walking approximately 60 kilometres per day, he is being joined by prominent members of the Australian community, and fellow wounded soldiers.
"The body is holding up fine," he said.
He has raised more than $25,000 thus far, aiming to complete the approximately 350-400 kilometre trek by September 23.
"Mr Haven has risen to the challenges that life has thrown to him and is now working to increase awareness and help others in need - he is truly admirable," Councillor Helen Stewart said.
Cr Stewart presented Mr Haven with a donation to Soldier On and some supplies for Omen.
To donate to Mr Haven's cause, visit the onefootforward.gofundraise.com.au website.