Soldier’s happy homecoming after tour of Afghanistan

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AFTER more than seven months on tour in Afghanistan, it was a happy homecoming for soldiers from 214 Signal Squadron yesterday.

The 65 officers and soldiers were awarded operational medals by York’s Lord Mayor Coun Ian Gillies following a service in the Minster.

Among those celebrating a safe return was Lance Corporal Liam Todd, 34, who was joined by his children Joseph, four, and Lola, one.

He said: “It’s great to be home. My daughter was only three months old when I left eight months ago, so it’s so lovely to see how she’s grown in that time.”

Signaller Matthew Morley, who was also celebrating his 31st birthday yesterday, said: “It’s quite strange to be back.

“The first thing I said to my family when I got home was I just wanted to go shopping. I know it sounds weird, but I longed to walk through a British supermarket where everything is well-stocked and just re-integrate back into everyday life.”

Major Steven Bennett, Signaller Squadron for the regiment, said: “I couldn’t be more grateful for the hard work my soldiers have done.

“They gave so much support out in Afghanistan and I can proudly say we left the country a lot better place than when we arrived.”

The squadron delivered mission-critical communications while in Afghanistan.