A BUXTON soldier has spoken about how he has been helping make a difference in war-torn Afghanistan after returning from a first tour of duty with the British Army.
Kyle Tibbles, of Peak Dale, recently returned home following a six-month tour.
The 20-year-old had been plucked from his usual duties as a tank gunner with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards to serve as infantry in Afghanistan, where he undertook foot patrols and manned checkpoints in Attal and Nad Ali, in Helmand province.
Despite the obvious dangers and hardships, Kyle found the tour exhilarating, but admitted it had been a bit of a culture shock.
“The way of living over there is just totally different,” he explained.
“Our role mainly involved going out on foot patrols, out to different checkpoints and covering different and unknown ground.”
He added: “We could see the difference our presence is making from the beginning, from the way the local people are more ISAF-pro (International Security Assistance Force) and seeing how we can help them and help train up the Afghanistan police.”
Having trained as a mechanic in Buxton but struggled to find work, Kyle entered the Army in November 2009 and admits it has helped transform his life. His ambition is now to rise through the ranks.
A former student of Buxton Community School and the University of Derby Buxton, Kyle undertook his initial training at ATR Bassingbourn, before moving on to Phase Two training at Bovington and then eventually to his regiment, stationed at Fallingbostel in Germany.
By joining the uniformed services, Kyle has followed in the footsteps of relatives, who have served in the Royal Airforce and Merchant Navy,
Kyle’s dad Glenn added: “I’m chuffed to bits with what he has achieved out there.
“It is horrible from a parent’s point of view, but I’ve just got to back what he is doing. These guys are out there doing a very difficult job.”