AN ELLESMERE Port soldier is about to return from a tour of Afghanistan.
Lance Bombardier Gary Sides, of 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, is nearing the end of his six-month tour.
Despite missing home LBdr Sides is focused on his job.
He said: “I miss my wife and kids immensely and I think about them every day.
“But I when I am on duty I cannot let anything distract me from what I am here to do.”
LBdr Sides attended Birkenhead Institute High School and now lives with wife Joanne, and children Lilli and Jack in Ellesmere Port.
LBdr Sides is working in Musa Qal’eh District Centre in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
The 38-year-old works in the Fire Support Team (FST).
His main role is to provide the satellite communications for his team to enable them to ‘speak’ to artillery guns, long range rockets, attack helicopters and fighter jets to provide fire support to the Infantry Company he is deployed with.
He said: “I am just one member of a team and we all have to be very exact in everything we do.
“At the end of the day we know the guys on the ground are relying on us and we want to make sure we do everything we can do to keep them safe.”
“I joined the Army in October 1987 and served with 2nd Field Regiment Royal Artillery, serving with them overseas in a UN role in Cyprus and a tour of the first Gulf war.
“I left the full-time Army in 2002 but stayed on the books as a regular reserve. This means I continue to serve in operational theatres but I don’t work for the Army full-time in between.
“I’m happy to be here but I do miss watching Liverpool FC though.”