All’s fair in love and war for army couple
SEPARATED by hundreds of miles for much of their marriage, a couple who both serve in the armed forces are together at last - in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.
Located in southern Afghanistan, the huge British military base is an unusual setting for married life, but army Staff Sergeant Rodney Gander (42) and his wife, RAF Corporal Nicky Gander, are just happy to be together after spending a total of 18 months out of the last four years apart.
Rodney, of Great Bowden, said the couple work long shifts, but find time to meet up for a coffee, watch TV, or enjoy a meal at the camp’s restaurant.
“The restaurant is a nice change from the mess and is just like any ordinary restaurant back in England,” he said, “except we have to wear uniform and carry weapons!”
The camp – home to 28,000 personnel – is also not particularly conducive to romance – Rodney shares a tent with three of his colleagues and Nicky shares a pod with another female.
Rodney works in logistics and his job is to ensure that the 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment’s supply chain between Camp Bastion and Nahr-e-Saraj runs smoothly.
Nicky (36), from Dawlish, is responsible for meeting all flights that arrive at Camp Bastion and to ensure all personnel are accounted for on arrival and departure. The couple met whilst serving on operations in Iraq nine years ago and married in 2005.
But their various overseas postings have seen them live apart for long periods.
Nicky said: “It feels like we have been apart for much of our marriage so being able to meet up in Camp Bastion has been fantastic.”
Rodney was in Afghanistan for four months before being joined by his wife.
Nicky said: “It was a strange feeling when boarding the flight at RAF Brize Norton, everyone else was upset saying goodbye to their loved ones but I was really happy knowing that I was about to meet up with mine.”
Rodney is due to finish his tour soon and the couple will chalk up another few months of separation to add to their tally.
The next time the couple meet will be on Nicky’s return to RAF Brize Norton where they are planning to attend a Christmas ball.
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Weather for Market Harborough
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
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