Mothers get ready for a special day on front line

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Women serving at one of the main military bases in Afghanistan are preparing for Mother’s Day away from their families.

While families across the country will come together to mark the occasion on Sunday, those on service abroad will be relying on cards and phone calls from home.

Major Michelle Norman, 37, is a battery commander in the Royal Artillery. She oversees the targeting of rockets and missiles.

She is based in Lashkar Gah, and has already received a card from her son Euan.

Major Norman, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, said: “My son is just coming up to two years old and I’ve pretty much been away from him since I returned from maternity leave.

“I miss him and I’ve missed out on him learning to walk and talk. But I know he’s so young he won’t remember any of this.

“I talk to him on the telephone a couple of times a week and my husband sends video clips so I don’t miss out on his progress.

“I’ll give him a ring on Mother’s Day - sometimes he’ll talk to me but often he’s more interested in Thomas the Tank Engine or playing with his trains.

“I go home in about three weeks so I’m looking forward to going on a family holiday and getting to know Euan again.

“Getting a card from him means a lot and I’m looking forward to spending Mother’s Day with him in the future.”

Corporal Trisha Keenan, 43, from Inverness, is in the Territorial Army and normally works for the Job Centre.

She has a 16-year-old daughter, Alice, and is on her first tour in a war zone. At Lashkar Gah she is responsible for administration, including making soldiers’ pay.

Mrs Keenan said: “Being on a winter tour has meant I was away over Christmas and New Year so it was a bit of a disappointment to miss out on a big family celebration.”

“Now I’m missing Mother’s Day but I’m near the end of my tour so I can’t wait to get home and see my family. Normally on Mother’s Day I would go for a meal with my daughter and husband and would also do something with my parents.”