Festive message from soldiers in war zone camp

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Despite a busy schedule and the blistering heat, the soldiers at a small base called Lashkar Gah in Afghanistan found time to relax and enjoy some festive spirit.

Between guard shifts and maintaining vehicles, the soldiers sent messages back to loved ones in the UK that could be watched on Christmas day.

Bombardier Jamie Handyside from Preston, of the 3 Royal Horse Artillery, dressed up in a Christmas T-shirt and festive hat to record his message.

Speaking with Christmas bunting hung up against camp walls. He said: “I’d like to say a merry Christmas to my fiancee Leanne and her little boy Kian. Hope you have a great day and I’ll see you soon.”

Most of the soldiers at the base are from the 2 Royal Anglian Battalion but there are soldiers from units across the UK including the 21 Signals Regiment in Devon and Army Reservists from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.

The soldiers took part in a series of challenges in an 
attempt to bring some festive cheer to the troubled district.

Soldiers from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers attempted to break the record for the “header bin challenge”, and the title of omelette making champion of Helmand Province was up for grabs. The camp is also home to three Military Working Dogs - Sara, Daisy and Bailey. Sara demonstrated her protection skills by catching a Father Christmas impersonator who was trying to steal the soldier’s presents. The Lashkar Gah base is due to close early next year as UK forces leave Afghanistan.




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