Louis joined the military at 17 and found being a Royal Marines Commando was not only something he was good at; it was also something he loved. His 10-year career took him all over the globe, including Europe, India, America, Africa, Norway and the Middle and Far East. During his deployment to Afghanistan in 2011 he was involved in some of the most intense combat and things he saw on that tour left a lasting mark on his mind, leading to the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Louis was medically discharged earlier this year and the transition into civilian life was not easy, as he still wanted to be a Marine. In pursuit of a new challenge about which he could feel passionate, Louis turned to exploration.
Tell about Expedition Five, your upcoming adventure: In November, Ant Lambert [another ex-Marine] and I are aiming to become the first men to cross the five biggest islands on the planet on foot. The islands (in order) are Borneo, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Greenland and Baffin Island. We will be unsupported, carrying our own kit across thousands of miles of unexplored, dense jungle, mountain ranges 4500m high and scorching deserts, and in Arctic temperatures as low as -40 degrees.
What motivates you? Two things; from my service in the Royal Marines, I have many friends who have been seriously injured as a result of their own service. Seeing these blokes overcoming huge, life-changing injuries with smiles on their faces is something that motivates me on a daily basis. Secondly, my mum; as a single mum of three boys she worked incredibly hard – being able to stay positive in times of hardship is a real gift.
When did you first get involved with Help for Heroes*? It was about two years ago. I went on a surf trip to Santa Cruz called Operation Surf, which was funded by Help for Heroes. It was a brilliant trip led by ex pro surfers in California.
Who was your childhood hero? Rambo and Crocodile Dundee.
Describe yourself in three words: Stubborn, determined and loyal.