13th October

The reason I want to write this diary and make this diary as honest as I possibly can to myself, I could fill it up with how ally the Para’s are and that I smashed it up in fire fights (which we did anyway and we did on a daily basis), but I want you to know how I felt whilst I was out there. I want to bring to you how I felt as a private solider in the Parachute Regiment, to bring the human element to the Afghanistan war, to try and make people realise that as much as we love our jobs and being out here, we are all of us still human.

Fucking hell, so it begins. This is quite possibly the scariest thing that I have ever done, and the strangest feeling of all is that I don’t have one regret or doubt in my mind about what it is I am about to do. Well I say that there are a few things, not to do with what I have to do, or where I’m going, just completely random thoughts that go through my head such as, ‘how did Aran get on in Vegas?’, ‘How’s the dog?’, ‘did dad get his pay rise?’, all of these silly little things that I know I will be updated on, but it’s still crazy not being there to hear it in person, you can’t just pop down the road and see the family and do the normal family things, this will take some getting used to.

So how do I feel about going to Afghanistan? It’s a weird feeling, more nervous excitement than anything, seeing it on the news, hearing about it from the blokes on previous tours. Will it be anything like that? Probably the worst part so far was waiting till 23.00 for the coach to take us to Brize Norton, but 3 hours head down so not all bad. The flight out wasn’t off to a great start as the Tri-Star went tech over France so we had to fly back to Brize wait for that to get sorted then go back out. Stopping at RAF Akritori in Cyprus I had time for 5 bines (chain smoked to death), a quick coffee then back on the plane. Now this was the craziest part, getting back on that plane screaming down the runway and lifting off, the next time those wheels hit the deck I’ll be in the Ghan. Everything I’ve trained for, the pain, sleepless nights, the cold Catterick weather, the blisters and the thrashings from Para depot, all my training is coming down to this point. I had the biggest smile on my face when we took off, why I have no idea, nerves? Excitement? Or am I just plain fucking nuts.

To be honest I’m a bit apprehensive, I mean I’ve only been with A Company for 4 weeks, 1 week of that I was in Lydd for Pre Deployment Training the 1 week on leave! Probably could have done with getting here earlier to settle in and meet the lad’s, but I guess this is the best situation to get to know them. Oh well fuck when my boots are on the ground that’s when I’ll feel better, right I got to catch some zed’s on this plane, rather sleep than eat the shit scoff on here, it’s no Grove I tell you that Jen.