Turkeys make the front line as troops celebrate
TROOPS from Bristol serving in Afghanistan were able to celebrate Christmas with presents from home, a turkey lunch and even a charity fun run.
Around 9,000 servicemen and women from the UK are deployed in Helmand Province and an extra effort was made on Christmas day to make sure they were given some "down time".
Commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Nick Wood addressed the troops to thank them for their hard work on the tour so far, and wished everybody a merry Christmas.
There was also a special message from Prince Charles broadcast over the radio.
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Captain Daniel Turner, 36, from Bristol, who serves with the Royal Dragoon Guards, said: ''It's fantastic. I've had turkey and sprouts and have had a great time sitting with my friends. It's great having a day like today halfway through the tour."
In Lashkar Gah, hundreds of soldiers and spectators gathered in costumes for the Lash Dash, a 5K fun run for charity.
Thousands of balloons, crackers, party poppers and hats were flown in to the areas of operations specially, and more than 130 tonnes of Christmas post was delivered to Camp Bastion this week, to be handed out among bases.
Every soldier serving in Afghanistan received a Christmas lunch or dinner, even those in remote patrol bases.
But it was business as usual for many troops on the front line, as members of the Royal Military Police and the Royal Dragoon Guards set off on an early morning patrol.
The group of about 20 soldiers went out on foot patrol to visit Afghan National Police officers, a practice they have been carrying out daily.
Celebrations and lunches were laid on at bases across Helmand, including Camp Bastion and Forward Operating Base Shawqat, as well as Camp Tombstone and Main Operating Base Price, where the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, (1 SCOTS), are operating.