Afghanistan

Afghanistan Withdrawal: Veterans And Families React

UK personnel first arrived in Afghanistan in 2001 and since then more than 150,000 personnel have deployed into theatre.

Veterans and the family of a service member who served as part of UK forces in Afghanistan have been reacting to the news of the withdrawal of Western forces from the country. 

British troops first arrived in Afghanistan in 2001 and since then more than 150,000 personnel have deployed into theatre.

More than 450 British military personnel were killed and more than 4,000 hospitalised up to the end of combat missions in Afghanistan in 2014.

Jacqui Thompson lost her husband Senior Air Craftsman Gary Thompson in 2008 when his patrol was hit by a roadside bomb.

She said he was "hard to forget" and "absolutely adored his family", describing him as a "fantastic dad" who made her feel "completely loved and cherished".

Ms Thompson said: "I think with all the lives we've lost, although it will never make up for that, hopefully, they may have made a difference to a life over there.

"I want all the lads to come home, I really do.

"I feel like they've done their bit, as they always do... I just feel in many ways it's terrible that the people of Afghanistan still live with such threats."

RAF veteran James Wilthew also spoke to Forces News about the withdrawal, describing it as "devastating", while former soldier Robert Clark said veterans have mixed opinions about the news.