Mark back to the front line

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A YOUNG Arbroath marine who was severely injured on his last tour of duty has made a brave return to Afghanistan.

Former Arbroath High pupil Mark Hendry is serving with 45 Commando in his second stint in the war torn country.

During his last tour Marine Hendry was wounded following an ambush during a patrol but despite his injuries he has made a return with the unit on their current deployment.

The 20-year-old explained: “I was point man on a routine patrol and we knew that something was not right as all the locals started leaving the area.

“We immediately started pulling out but it was too late. The insurgents opened fire and I was hit in the leg.

“The bullet went in my thigh and exited through my lower leg. The lads administered first aid and transported me to Sangin from where I was airlifted to hospital in Camp Bastion.

“The medical care was brilliant and after a few days I was moved to Selly Oak where I had two operations.”

Marine Hendry had to undergo two courses of physiotherapy at Hedley Court before returning to RM Condor as part of Harden Troop, the unit’s rehabilitation troop.

Six months later he was fit enough to join X-Ray company and started pre-deployment training for his return to Afghanistan.

Marine Hendry is following in his father Alistair’s footsteps as he too served as a Royal Marine with 45 Commando.

His older sister Anita (23) is also a member of the Royal Army Medical Corps and is preparing for her third tour of Afghanistan.

Currently, Mark is based at Patrol Base Kalang in an area called Saidebad on Operation Herrick 14.

And since returning to the country Marine Hendry has noticed the improvement in everyday life in the country.

He said: “Things are completely different now, we all feel much safer and the atmosphere is nothing like it was on Herrick 9.

“You can see the progress happening here every day. Since I arrived in Saidebad I have seen the local bazaar re-open and turn into a popular and thriving marketplace.

“The local people are on-side and really friendly; this makes the job much more rewarding.”