Saturday, June 13, 2009

Afghanistan: 'Decisions made here impact immediately on the lives of so many people'

By Harry Miller

Major Matt Thorpe is the battalion second in command at Musa Qul'eh.

The 41-year-old father of two lives in Kingston with his wife and two sons.

Maj Thorpe said: “The hardest day I have had here so far is when the lad from 3 Scots was killed while clearing a compound on one of the operations we launched.

“He moved into a compound after the Afghan National Army requested support and was shot at close range by a Taliban fighter as he attempted to help the ANA, he was an excellent soldier and will be sorely missed by every one here.”

With his thoughts on home, Maj Thorpe said: “My wife accepts that I am here and this is the job but of course she would rather I was at home with her and our two young children. She will be pleased when the tour is over and I am back at home.”

“My best day was when we took an area to the south with no British casualties, we managed to push what we call the ring of steel, an area around Musa Qul'eh DC, back much further meaning we now have a better hold of the area.

“We found a bomb factory and recovered 39 IEDs that would have been planted for coalition soldiers and could have potentially killed a lot of men.”

“Working back home, it is fundamentally difficult to compare the decisions I make here to there.

"The decisions I and others make here impact immediately on the lives of so many people.

“I always wanted to be in the Army so I am doing what I love but when it comes to fighting the enemy they are a resilient foe, but so is the British Army.”

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