Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Tributes to fallen Army captain

Captain Stephen James Healey, of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh was killed by a home-made bomb in Helmand Province

An Army officer who was killed by a home-made bomb in Afghanistan packed more into his three decades alive than most people do in a lifetime, his family said.

Captain Stephen Healey, 29, of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh (The Royal Welch Fusiliers), was killed on Saturday when his patrol vehicle hit the improvised explosive device in the north of the Nahr-e Saraj District in Helmand province.

He was flown to the military hospital at Camp Bastion where he was pronounced dead.

On Sunday night, his father John, mother Kerry, brother Simon and girlfriend Thea paid tribute to Capt Healey, a former semi-professional footballer from Cardiff. They issued a statement saying: "Stephen was all you could wish for in a son, brother, uncle and friend. He will be sadly missed by us all. He managed to do more in his 30 years than most people do in a lifetime."

Capt Healey is the 415th member of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

The soldier's girlfriend paid her own tribute, saying: "Stephen will always be in my heart. I will miss him so much, he was my love, my life and my everything. Now he rests in peace, he was living the life he wanted to do with his men."

Capt Healey joined the Army in 2007 and was commissioned into the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh (The Royal Welch Fusiliers) in 2008. In 2009 he was Mentioned in Dispatches for his actions on Operation Herrick 11 as the Officer Commanding 4 Platoon, B Company.

A highly promising officer, in 2011 he was selected to command the reconnaissance platoon and led its Operation Herrick 16 deployment. He deployed to Afghanistan again on March 9 this year, where he took over responsibility at Checkpoint Langar in northern Nahr-e Saraj as part of Combined Force Burma.

Commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Webb said: "Capt Stephen Healey will be remembered by the officers and soldiers of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh as one of the most charismatic and professional leaders any of us will have had the privilege of serving with.

"He was a brilliant Army officer and a truly outstanding individual. As the Recce Platoon Commander he cared deeply for his soldiers and they, in return, loved and respected him. He had a calm, assured nature, an understated charm and the sort of personality that made it so easy to warm to him so very quickly - quick witted and sharp his personality lightened any conversation. Steve combined this natural leadership with a professionalism that was second to none."

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