Sol­dier daugh­ter an ex­am­ple to all

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Thom Mor­ris tmor­ris@thek­m­

AF­TER de­scend­ing into a world of drink and drugs a 21-year-old Kingsnorth res­i­dent turned her life around and is about to be­gin a sec­ond tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Kirsty Hamer will be joined by her brother Lee Har­ris-Hamer, 18, when they both be­gin serv­ing in the war-torn coun­try in March.

For for­mer Christ Church School pupil Kirsty it is a rad­i­cal change.

The self-con­fessed wild child was hang­ing around with the wrong crowd and her life de­scend­ing into a spi­ral of drink and drugs.

But when her mum Sharon took her to Im­pact, a dis­ci­plinary course in Ash­ford for those in­ter- ested in the uni­formed ser­vices, her life turned around.

The mother-of-four said: “If Kirsty hadn’t done that course she was head­ing down the road of drugs. It turned my chil­dren around. Kirsty was very wild but she’s worked hard and done it all her­self.

“It got to a stage where I’d just had enough and I said we’ve got to do some­thing about it.

‘Never looked back’

“She was hang­ing out with crack­heads and I had to phys­i­cally drag her to the Im­pact course. It was my last hope.

“Since that first day she has never looked back. It turned both my kids around and I think it shows all chil­dren what they can do with their lives.”

The sib­lings are cur­rently train­ing abroad, Kirsty with the Royal Lo­gis­tics Corps and Lee in the 4th Royal Ar­tillery.

Kirsty has pre­vi­ously served in Afghanistan for six months driv­ing Ross Kemp for his tele­vi­sion show and es­cort­ing Prince An­drew on a royal visit.

Join­ing in Fe­bru­ary 2007 Kirsty has also ap­peared on the Help for He­roes sin­gle.

Lee, who joined the Army in Oc­to­ber 2008, hopes to be­come a dog han­dler while Kirsty hopes to join the Para­chute Reg­i­ment.

But for Austin Road res­i­dent Sharon the next few months will be a dif­fi­cult time.

The ad­min­is­tra­tor added: “You can never get over them go­ing away.

“It’s hard to ex­plain; you just hope you never get that knock on the door.

“Ev­ery time you hear some­one has died you just cry. You just sit there wait­ing for it to hap­pen to your own chil­dren and you just don’t know.

“When they’re on duty it can be up to three months be­fore you hear any­thing from them and even then they only have a half-hour phone card to make calls.

“At the mo­ment I hear from them ev­ery day, I hear from Lee about five times a day.

“He rings me up and asks what I’m do­ing and I say the same thing I was do­ing five min­utes ago.

“When he’s in the desert I send him pack­ages; nor­mally Mar­mite, Spam and hot dog sausages.”

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