Father in frontline Christmas with Army

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A father spent Christmas away from his family in Kettering after being sent on a tour of Afghanistan for the first time – 12 years after joining the Territorial Army.

Captain James Bolter left behind his partner and four children to begin a six-month tour in war-torn Helmand Province last September.

This month, the 40-year-old spoke from base at Camp Bastion about life in the army thousands of miles away from home.

Cpt Bolter left his day job with DHL Supply Chain to recruit and train more than 1,000 Afghans working for the forces on Operation Herrick.

He often visits the frontline travelling by helicopter and armoured vehicle.

He said: “No two days are the same in my role.

“The ability to get to forward units throughout Afghanistan is a real privilege and seeing the world outside Bastion is a real pleasure.

“I hope my six months on operation will equip me with new skill sets for my future roles with the TA and DHL.”

Cpt Bolter is an operations officer in charge of 908 Labour Support Unit serving in the country.

His duties also include the employment of interpreters who accompany British patrols.

The tour is his first since joining the TA at 18.

In Kettering, he lives with his partner Lucy Beesley and children Breony, 13, Hope, 13, Ella, 10 and Mallory, 9.

While at home, the former pupil of Mill Hill School in North London is based at the regimental headquarters of 160 Transport Regiment in Grantham in Lincolnshire.

Months before he was deployed to Afghanistan, Cpt Bolter raised money for Help for Heroes by taking part in the charity’s week-long Big Battlefield Bike Ride from Normandy to Paris last June.

He took part after a soldier in his regiment was diagnosed with bowel cancer while serving in Afghanistan last year.