Dagenham soldier Dean back in Afghanistan

A BRAVE soldier who cheated death has returned to the front line in Afghanistan after recovering from injuries sustained by an improvised explosive device in May. Rifleman Dean Ford, 21, was wounded while serving with B Company 2 Rifles in Camp Bastion, t

A BRAVE soldier who cheated death has returned to the front line in Afghanistan after recovering from injuries sustained by an improvised explosive device in May.

Rifleman Dean Ford, 21, was wounded while serving with B Company 2 Rifles in Camp Bastion, the main British military base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Proud mum Carole Ford, of Wallers Close, Dagenham, said: "His friend was killed and his sergeant was seriously injured. We were devastated. But the army, were brilliant.

"They let him phone and speak to us himself. When he said 'I have been injured', we knew he was all right because we heard his voice.


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"At the same time we were shocked."

She admitted that life as a soldier's mum is like being on an emotional rollercoaster.

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"Whenever you hear on the news that a soldier has died, you feel relieved that it's not your son. But you feel guilty because some mother has lost her son.

"You don't know if, at the end of the day, he is going to come back and we have been absolutely terrified."

Dean, a former Dagenham Park School student, had surgery on his chin, gums and teeth.

He was sent back to Afghanistan on August 16 and this weekend, he will return home before heading back to his barracks in County Down, Northern Ireland.

Carole said: "We are very, very proud of him. We do miss him a lot, but now it's nearly over."

Dean joined the army in July 2007 and was first sent to Afghanistan in April this year.

Mrs Ford said: "He has learned a lot and he is a really good role model for the kids around here.

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