From bin round to the battlefield

Lance Corporal David Thomas of London Road, Blackpool.
Lance Corporal David Thomas of London Road, Blackpool.
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THIS soldier is trading in bins for bullets as he prepares for the harsh, unforgiving terrain of war-torn Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal David Thomas, 27, from Layton, is a Fylde Council binman during the day and a Territorial Army (TA) soldier during evenings and weekends.

However, as fighting intensifies in Helmand Province, he has taken the brave decision to swap collecting waste in favour of delivering essential equipment and firearms to troops in the dangerous province.

The volunteer soldier, who is also a veteran of the Iraq War, will join up with 159 Supply Regiment Royal Logistics Crops (RLC) on Monday to head off to war.

He said: “My deployment will be hard, but from my experience of training in the Army and TA there is no difference apart from one role is spare time and the other is full time.

“The TA and Army work together to get the job done and as long as you’re happy to work, keep your fitness up to scratch and get stuck in it’s a great opportunity to better yourself and open your eyes to the world.”

Lance Corporal Brown left the regular army six years ago after joining the Royal Horse Artillery as a 16-year-old straight out of Collegiate High School in Blackpool.

But since he was discharged, the refuse collector said he has longed for the opportunity to return to action.

He added: “I missed the camaraderie and the close bond you have with your workmates in the Army.

“I am in a long term relationship, and while my girlfriend doesn’t want me to be away for any length of time, she understands this is something I really want to do.”