A TERI soldier who entered uncharted territory during a six-month tour of Afghanistan has returned home.
Brian Turnbull, 25, is a lance corporal in the Royal Tank Regiment and has just completed service in Helmand province.
He has been working as a Mastiff vehicle commander in some of the most hostile and remote areas of the country, and Brian and his colleagues often went where ISAF troops had not previously operated.
The soldier, whose mother Frances resides locally, was full of praise for the reception he and his colleagues were given by natives of the Asian warzone and members of the Afghan National Army.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the Afghans,” he said. “They’re a real credit to the people they represent and I’ve been impressed by how quickly they pick up techniques we teach them.”
Brian, who has served in the army for six years and served in Iraq in 2008, formed a part of the protected mobility group that provides fire and mobility support for troops on the ground.
He is currently back on British soil at home in RAF Honnington, in Suffolk, with his wife Samantha Jane, a fellow Teri who works as a beauty therapist in Bury St Edmunds.
“While I’ve been away, the support from home has been great. Samantha has been an absolute gem. When you go for days at a time and you can’t get to a phone, it’s great to hear her voice.”
The pair intend to return to the town for Christmas and Hogmanay to visit family who live in the area.
Brian said: “I’m looking forward to a pint in the Hawick Ex-Servicemen’s Club on New Year’s Day, as they don’t sell Tennent’s where we live in England.”
British troops have been present in Helmand for the last six years.
Currently, 9,500 UK troops are serving in the province.
Last month, a ten-strong team of local soldiers with the Royal Scots Borderers were deployed to the region and are due to return home at around Easter next year.