A WIGAN Territorial Army medic has returned safely from a demanding four month tour in Afghanistan.
Major Helen Ball, of 207 Field Hospital was part of a 44-strong team which ran the British Military Hospital in Camp Bastion.
Mjr Ball, from Astley, works as a theatre sister in her civilian job.
She was welcomed home at regimental headquarters in Stretford on Monday by her family.
She said: “I have never been away from home over Christmas before and it is great to be back and see my family again.”
Her mum, Catherine Ball added: “I am relieved and very excited that she is now home.
“She missed Christmas and her birthday while she was away but we are very, very proud of her.”
The 207 Field Hospital draws on TA medics from its squadrons in Ashton, Stockport, Bury and Blackburn.
Colonel Robin Jackson, Commanding Officer, said: “This tour has been the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done.
“It has been a great privilege to be able to command one’s own unit on operations and I am tremendously proud of my 207 soldiers, both TA and Regular, as well as their British and US colleagues who also served in the hospital.
“They all did a phenomenal job in providing the very highest standard of medical care and support that our wounded soldiers deserve.”
In October 2010, the ‘207’ volunteers and regular officers joined colleagues from all of the three services and 49 US Navy regulars and reservists to take over the manning and running of the British Military Hospital in Camp Bastion.
It is the busiest trauma hospital in Afghanistan and takes more than 60 per cent of all casualties in the Regional Command, which includes Helmand Province.
Major Linda Taberner from Standish has also returned from her tour with the same field hospital, this was the last tour of duty for the 55-year-old grandmother.
The 207 Field Hospital is run by staff from North West NHS and private hospitals, who want an extra challenge in their life.
They use their clinical skills to save the lives of injured British soldiers, but are also part of an organisation which enhances leadership skills and personal fitness.
Contact 0161 232 4985 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.