It’s been seven months of agony for David and Sandra Pass.
But today the South Shore hoteliers have shared their relief after hearing their soldier son Jamie is finally on his way home from Afghanistan.
Jamie, 21, has been serving with the 1st Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment for the past seven months.
However, he is now homeward bound with 75 comrades and is due to land on British soil at RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, today, before returning to Catterick barracks, in Yorkshire, this evening.
Dad David, who runs the Cresta Hotel, on Withnell Road, South Shore, said: “It’s been seven months of waiting for the phone to ring or a knock on the door.
“I can’t wait to see him, the weight’s lifted now because I know he’s not in Afghanistan.”
David, 46, and Sandra, 47, are set to travel across the Pennines to give Jamie a true hero’s welcome tonight.
He added: “We’ve made a banner and balloons and everything for when he comes back.
“There are hoteliers around us he’s grown up with and they all want to see him too.”
The Pass family are renowned for their military stock, and David himself served with the Prince of Wales’ Division for two years during the 1980s.
His grandfather also won the Military Medal during the Second World War.
And it’s not just in the land force the family finds its surname.
Jamie’s sister Elizabeth, 20, previously served in the Navy, while 24-year-old submariner brother Michael is currently deployed aboard HMS Ambush.
David says Jamie is looking forward to returning to home life, but his ambitions lie firmly within the Army.
He said: “He rang me from the airport at Camp Bastion and he’s full of what he wants to do.
“He’s in there for the long haul.”