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Soldier speaks of life in Afghanistan

PUBLISHED: 18:05 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 July 2010

A soldier who was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery in Afghanistan has talked of the daily risks faced by all service personnel involved in the conflict.

A soldier who was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery in Afghanistan has talked of the daily risks faced by all service personnel involved in the conflict.

Sgt Simon Panter, who was brought up in Mendham and is a former Stradbroke High School pupil, said there was danger on every patrol.

“The Taliban watches every move and if they think they can attack you they will do so. On top of that you have the roadside bombs and the threat posed by suicide bombers.

“However, slowly but surely we are winning, as in the town of Sangin where the Army beat the Taliban back and by the time the Anglians left a new infrastructure was in place and life was returning to normal,” he said.

Sgt Panter, 36, who was honoured for his “heroic actions, outstanding leadership, initiative and aggression” during the Royal Anglians' tour of Afghanistan last year, recently visited his parents, Ian and Ros Panter, who live at Harleston on the Suffolk-Norfolk border.

He is currently based at Pirbright and lives in Aldershot with his wife, Dione, and sons, Thomas, nine, and Benjamin, four.

The soldier, who has served in two tours of Afghanistan as well as postings to Northern Ireland, Croatia and Iraq, said he had been surprised to receive a commendation. “The work I did out there was what I had been trained to do,” he said.

His father said: “It is worrying when he is in the world's danger zones, and we always listen to the radio and television when he is out in these places, but it is what he wanted to do with his life.”

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