Three Sunderland brothers, currently serving in Afghanistan's Helmand province, have been reunited for a short time on the front line.
Anthony Nutton, aged 20, and his brothers, Neil, 20, and John, 22, were only in the same camp for two days before they were split up, but they have managed to meet each for a much needed catch up.
Rifleman John Nutton, from 2nd Battalion The Rifles, said:
Both of them came to meet me after I’d come in yesterday, and we all had a good laugh. It was great.
Trooper Neil Nutton, from the Light Dragoons, said:
I was worried I wouldn’t see John, but it was fantastic going for a brew together.
John has been in Helmand for six months and is in Camp Bastion before flying home, while Anthony and Neil are both beginning their time in Afghanistan, Anthony having been there for three weeks and Neil arriving just a week ago.
Anthony has already worked with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force uncovering 250kg of explosives, the largest amount of explosives to be found in the last two years.
Trooper Anthony Nutton, also from the Light Dragoons, said:
We’ve taken away a lot of their ability to kill our lads, which is a brilliant achievement. It’s a great feeling being told you’ve saved that many lives, I couldn’t believe it.
I’ve been working with the Afghan National Army and the Afghan Uniformed Police; mainly out on patrol in the local area. They were all really good, getting out and leading patrols while we were supporting and training them.
Neil was out in Afghanistan in 2009, and says he has returned to a very different country. He said:
There’s a massive difference now. It’s more safe and secure, and the locals are a lot friendlier; they don’t want fighting in their back gardens.
Neil and Anthony have been keeping in touch with John while he’s been on the front line, and he is sure to do the same.
I’ve kept in touch with letters and parcels, so I’ll be doing that for them. It’ll be good going back and seeing my mum, but the quicker this gets done the better, then we can have a proper Christmas together, all of us back together.