A YOUNG Wearside soldier will soon be back on home ground.
L/Cpl Louise Watson, 21, a communications systems engineer is coming to the end of a two-month tour of Afghanistan with the Army’s 22nd Signal Regiment.
The former Red House Academy pupil, a soldier in the Royal Corps of Signals based at the headquarters of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in Gloucester, said she is keen to see home again.
The 21-year-old said: “I’m looking forward to seeing my family and friends again, and I will be booking a last-minute holiday when I return.”
Louise says she has enjoyed her time in Helmand Province and will be volunteering for future tours to gain further experience, and to travel more.
She said: “I’ve been supporting Nato and ISAF troops as we hand patrol bases over to the Afghan security forces, and we move back into Camp Bastion.
“I assist with the building of our communication systems.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time out here, and will take back some new skills in the trade.
“I’ve also increased my confidence and built some good working relationships.”
Louise has been in the Army for three years, but this was her first operational tour overseas. The young Wearsider, who worked at the London Olympics last year, said: “I knew from the age of 14 that I wanted to be in the Army.
“I didn’t want a nine-to-five job.
“I wanted to have new experiences and the opportunity to travel.
“I was also inspired by my uncle, Cpl James Dunbar, who is currently serving with the Adjutant General’s Corps.”
After finishing school, Louise did a uniformed services course before starting a military preparation course, and both reinforced her decision to join the forces.
Outside work, Louise plays football for the Royal Signals Corps and also enjoys swimming, athletics, basketball and rounders.