A WORCESTER soldier fighting in Afghanistan is proving to be a big hit with punters after he started sending blogs from the frontline back to his local pub.
Almost as soon as Colour Sergeant Michael Saunders landed in the dusty deserts and humidity of Helmand Province, the 35-year-old former Nunnery Wood High School pupil began writing to his sister, Tracey Tyrls.
The chef and waitress took them into the Marwood, The Tything, and they have proved so popular that a wall has now been dedicated to printouts of the blogs that describe the daily life of the soldier, who is serving with the 2nd Battalion Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters) on their third tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Mrs Tyrls said: “Michael loves to write and it’s a great way for him to keep us up-to-date with what he’s doing in Afghanistan. I find it reassuring to get letters from him regularly.
“It’s a bonus that it’s proved so popular and regulars have been following his progress with interest. With 2 Mercian deployed in a really challenging role out there, there are lots of soldiers from Worcestershire in the thick of it.
“I think it’s good for people to realise that although thousands of miles away, what’s going on in Afghanistan affects the people of Worcester more than they might think.”
We previously reported in your Worcester News how the Mercians have been charged with passing on their skills to the Afghan National Army and conducting joint patrols around the province.
C/Sgt Saunders’ job as platoon quartermaster sergeant for the combat infantry signals platoon means that he is responsible for the distribution of communication gear to 21 locations in Afghanistan.
C/Sgt Saunders, who has a three-year-old daughter, hopes his letters from the desert will help people to understand what the Army is doing in the country and what daily life there is really like.