‘To take that threat away from the enemy, it’s a really big thing’ – Sunderland army dog-handler’s bomb-sweeping tour

.

.

2
Have your say

UNSUNG hero Glen Hamilton is back home after risking his life to keep comrades safe in one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

The 25-year-old soldier has spent the last six months carrying out a perilous tour of duty clearing bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the frontline in Afghanistan.

Pictures supplied by Glen Hamilton trooper with the Light Dragoons serving as a dog handler with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in Afghanistan. Glen with his four year old Black Labrador Zoe. Glen is originally from Hylton Road, Pennywell, Sunderland. NOT FOR PRINT SALES OR TO BE PASSED ON TO OTHERS

Pictures supplied by Glen Hamilton trooper with the Light Dragoons serving as a dog handler with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in Afghanistan. Glen with his four year old Black Labrador Zoe. Glen is originally from Hylton Road, Pennywell, Sunderland. NOT FOR PRINT SALES OR TO BE PASSED ON TO OTHERS

During his second stint in the warzone, Glen’s meticulous work with Labrador Zoe sweeping roads and landing areas of roadside bombs and other threats saw him uncover deadly explosives.

The trooper said: “I had a couple of finds. That to me was the biggest victory ever.

“For me, to take that threat away from the enemy, it’s a really big thing because they go to a lot of trouble to build and bury those IEDs.”

After working as a tank driver during his first tour, Glen retrained as a dog handler and had been in the country since February.

Since then, Glen, of Hylton Road, has been working alongside trusted companion Zoe, a four-year-old black Labrador.

Glen, who has served with the Light Dragoons for four years, said: “I was a tank driver, I still am by trade but this course came up in dog handling and I’ve always been that way orientated so I thought it would be ideal.

“I absolutely love the job. You’re highly valued by your team and highly prized by the enemy.

“It’s your job to clear the road, or a patch for a helicopter to land safely and there’s a lot of pressure.

“There’s a lot of pressure and it’s not 100 per cent guaranteed with the dog.

“It’s not a piece of equipment you can just pull off the shelf, it all depends on the mood of the dog.”

Now Glen is back safely back home and is enjoying spending time with his family and girlfriend Clare McNulty.

He said: “It’s great coming home and I know about the transition of coming back from a war zone to home life.

“Things like turning on a tap for water or flicking a switch for lights, you just miss those simple things.

“I’ll be going to as many Sunderland games as I can, see my girlfriend and mates, spend time with my family and have a big portion of fish and chips.”

There to help with the transition back home is Glen’s mum, Sue, who could hardly contain her joy at his return.

She said: “I’m absolutely over the moon he’s out of that place.

“It’s all a bit of a nightmare but he’s home safe and that’s all you can ask for.”

Twitter: @sunechomark