Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

OUR BOYS' THOUGHTS TURN TO THEIR HOMES; FESTIVE MESSAGES FROM SERVICEMEN THEY May Be Miles from Home but They Are Never Far from Our Thoughts. as We Prepare to Wrap Up Warm for a Cosy Christmas with Our Nearest and Dearest, It's Business as Usual for Soldiers and Sailors around the World. but from the Deserts of Iraq to the Chilly Waters of the Atlantic, North East Servicemen Have Still Found Time to Send a Festive Message Home

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

OUR BOYS' THOUGHTS TURN TO THEIR HOMES; FESTIVE MESSAGES FROM SERVICEMEN THEY May Be Miles from Home but They Are Never Far from Our Thoughts. as We Prepare to Wrap Up Warm for a Cosy Christmas with Our Nearest and Dearest, It's Business as Usual for Soldiers and Sailors around the World. but from the Deserts of Iraq to the Chilly Waters of the Atlantic, North East Servicemen Have Still Found Time to Send a Festive Message Home

Article excerpt

Private Martyn Sloan, 27, of Washington, is in Iraq with 214 Signal Squadron, 2nd Signal Regiment. It is among the last of the British regiments serving in Iraq, and has helped bring hostilities to an end. "All my family back in Washington. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Missing you all. Wish I could be there for Christmas dinner, mam. Love Martyn."

From Afghanistan, Anthony Makin, 22, of Benwell, Newcastle, who heroically returned to fight in Helmand Province despite losing a leg in a Taliban bomb blast.

'This is to all my friends and family back home. I hope everyone has a very good Christmas.

"I'll be thinking about you all while I'm out here serving my country."

Mark Pallister, 24, from Durham City, is a reservist logistician onboard HMS Lancaster.

'To mum and family, hope you all have a very good Christmas and Happy New Year.

"Looking forward to seeing you all in the New Year. Congratulations to Joanne (big sis) on your good news. Take care xx".

Leading Rate communications operator Craig Longstaff, 30, also from Durham City, is aboard HMS Vanguard.

"Hello to everybody at home, mum, dad, all the family and friends.

"Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year, I wish I was there to celebrate with you all. See you in the New Year, all the best for 2009. Take care, bye for now."

Petty Officer Nigel Fisher, 44, from Blyth, Northumberland, a radio supervisor also onboard HMS Vanguard.

'This is to wish my wife Anna, kids Chloe, Ryan, Rachael and John my grand kids James, Alyssa, Leland and the rest of the family a very Merry Christmas and prosperous 2009. Sorry I can't be with you, I'll see you in the New Year. Take care."

Rifleman Mark Evans, 32, rom South Shields.

"Merry Christmas to fam-ly and friends and hope to see you soon. Keenen, hope /ou get well soon. Lots of ove, Mark. …

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