CRADLING his precious first-born in his arms, Rifleman Adam Woodward now has something new to fight for.
Rfl Woodward, of Fifth Battalion The Rifles, had an extra special person waiting to meet him when he took two weeks’ leave from fighting in war-torn Afghanistan.
A month earlier, his girlfriend Lauren McIntyre gave birth to their son, Kameron Lee McIntyre, and the 21-year-old dad could not wait to finally hold him.
“I was scared at first because I didn’t know what to expect,” he said.
“But as soon as I held him in my arms it all fitted into place because he’s so special.
“It’s also given me something extra to fight for - my country and now my son.”
The former Pennywell School pupil, of Hastings Street, Hendon, was at home when he discovered he was going to be a dad.
But he spent most of the pregnancy in Afghanistan and only found out he was a dad when he was browsing social networking website Facebook.
“Kameron was born two weeks early,” said Rfl Woodward, who joined the Army on his 18th birthday.
“I didn’t realise and logged onto the computer and saw Lauren’s status said ‘I’m sitting with Kameron and he’s being fussy’.
“I was thinking ‘that can’t be right because he’s not due for another two weeks,’ then I saw a picture of him on there and I was in tears.”
The proud parent has already had a tattoo baring his son’s name on his chest and plans to have Kameron’s date of birth added.
He also hopes to get relocated back to the UK when he finishes his tour of Afghanistan in four months, as he is currently based in Paderborn, Germany.
Rfl Woodward, who also carried out a tour of Iraq in 2008, said: “It’s going to be hard going back, because I won’t see him for another four months and you feel like you miss so much.
“I should have quite a lot of time off when I finish over there, so there will be plenty of catching up to do.”