Returned troops from Afghanistan "happy but tired" at their homecoming
AFTER months away from their families two recently-returned soldiers are overjoyed to be home.
Major Graeme Hood and Lieutenant Colonel Ian Woodbridge were among 300 soldiers from Allied Rapid Reaction Corps' headquarters (HQ ARRC), based at Imjin Barracks in Innsworth, who returned last week after months stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Major Graeme Hood, 40, said the first thing he did was wake up his two young children at the family's Churchdown home.
"I am very well and happy to be home, but tired.
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"It was a long flight, about 13 hours.
"When I got home I had a glass of wine with my wife Susie and woke my children Daisy, five, and Adam, three, to tell them I was home," he said.
Maj Hood was based in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base in Kabul and worked in traditional communications.
He explained: "My role involved me speaking to ministers within the Afghanistan government and civil society.
"It was actually quite emotional saying goodbye to some people out there because I had built up some great relationships."
Major Hood is now looking forward to a four-week family holiday New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Woodbridge, 52, was based at ISAF Joint Command (IJC) headquarters in the role of deputy chief of public affairs.
Returning home to Innsworth, he said, was very emotional.
"It is great to be back after being away for six months.
"The pace has been very quick for people who have been away with very long hours most days. So yes, it feels very good to be home with the family."
Lieutenant Colonel Woodbridge has been married to Sara for 22 years and they have two children, Tim 20, and Miles 17.
As part of his public affairs role Lieutenant Colonel Woodbridge liaised with the Afghan media.
He said: "Most of the Afghan media is very young and keen. Free press in Afghanistan is expanding very quickly. Under Taliban rule there was nothing, no media.
"The journalists are now very keen, really educated in western media and they want to assert themselves. That was a quite interested part of my role out there."