A HAWICK soldier is back in the UK after a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan – and is looking forward to a pint of his favourite lager in the town at the New Year.
Brian Turnbull, 25, is a lance corporal in the Royal Tank Regiment and served in war-torn Helmand province.
He has been working as a Mastiff vehicle commander in some of the most hostile and remote areas of the country. Brian and his colleagues often went where ISAF troops have not operated before.
He formed part of the protected mobility group which provides fire and mobility support for troops on the ground. This has also included supporting the Afghan National Army.
Brian said: “I’ve really enjoyed working with the Afghans. 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.”
He returned to RAF Honnington in Suffolk where he lives with his wife, Samantha Jane, who is also from Hawick. They are both intending to return to Hawick for Christmas and Hogmanay to see 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.
“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.”
Brian has been in the army for six years and served in Iraq in 2008. Samantha works as a beauty therapist in Bury St Edmunds.
They both have relatives in the Hawick area and Brian’s mum, Frances, works in the town.