Belfast Telegraph

Soldier family set for Afghanistan

A soldier embarking on a tour of Afghanistan alongside his father, brother and brother-in-law has spoken of his hopes and fears for the mission.

Ranger John Herbert, 24, said he was glad to be serving with his family as part of the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment.

There are a total of five sets of brothers - including one set of twins - leaving Clive Barracks, in Tern Hill, Shropshire, for the regiment's third tour, to Helmand Province.

Ranger Herbert is being joined by Kris Hanlon, 19, the brother of his wife Kirsty, as well as brother Luke, 18, and father Captain Jeff Herbert.

He said: "It's good to have people out there that you can turn to, if you need to. I won't have to worry about so many people back home now. It's going to be a bit scary for me though, as it will be the first time I've been back."

His father, 44, described the regiment as "a big family", and added: "I am very, very proud - there's no two ways about it.

"But then there is the apprehension as we're all out there together. It was their choice to join up - I said there was no need to follow me, just because it was the family regiment."

Ranger John Herbert was injured on a previous tour in Afghanistan in 2008 but has now fully recovered. It will be the first tour for his brother and Ranger Hanlon, who were school friends.

Capt Herbert's wife Lyn, 26-year-old daughter Suzi and her nine-month-old son Samuel will be left at home in Portadown, Northern Ireland.

Capt Herbert, who has also served in Kosovo, Iraq and Sierra Leone, said: "Obviously they're used to me going on tour, but this is the hardest one, especially because our youngest son is going."


From Belfast Telegraph