Soldier daughter an example to all
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.”