Train­ing is harder than the real thing

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

NOT a sound can be heard as the sun slowly rises over the freez­ing Cana­dian prairie.

What looks like hun­dreds of fire­flies in the dis­tance are glow­sticks mark­ing the pres­ence of Chal­lenger 2 and War­rior tanks.

Tucked away un­der can­vas be­side them are thou­sands of troops hud­dled to­gether to pro­tect them­selves from the sub zero tem­per­a­tures.

As the ground be­gins to thaw, one by one sol­diers be­gin to emerge from their makeshift quar­ters.

Among the thou­sands is Sgt Kevin McGarry from Folke­stone.

First baby

The Ken­tish Ex­press first met 32-year-old af­ter he pro­posed to girl­friend Dyane Beane on kmfm live from Basra in Iraq in Oc­to­ber 2007.

More than a year on the happy cou­ple are ex­pect­ing their first baby to­gether fol­low­ing their wed­ding at Dover Cas­tle.

While his child­hood sweet­heart pre­pares for moth­er­hood back in the United King­dom,Sgt McGarry, also known as Feggy, has spent the last few weeks on the Cana­dian prairie pre­par­ing for war – a tough but worth­while ex­pe­ri­ence he re­vealed.

Sgt McGarry said: “This is harder than the real thing. You have lim­ited sleep and are pushed to your lim­its. I am re­spon­si­ble for de­liv­er­ing all the food, wa­ter and am­mu­ni­tion through­out the bat­tle.

“It is very de­mand­ing but also ex­tremely vi­tal. Some nights I only get three hours sleep.”

His train­ing will be­come a re­al­ity next year as he is sent back to Iraq for the fourth time in Novem­ber with the rest of his troop.

With a new wife and a daugh­ter on the way, Kevin re­vealed how he plans to get through the six months without them.

He said: “I think it’s a knack a sol­dier has.

“You can shut off your emo- tions. When you are away on ops your fo­cus turns to the boys that you are work­ing with. They be­come your pri­or­ity. But in the back of your mind your fam­ily is al­ways there.”

“When I leave for Iraq my lit­tle girl will be 11 months old. I will miss her first birth­day. That will be re­ally hard.”

Sgt Kevin McGarry on ex­er­cise in Canada

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