08:02AM, Thursday 10 October 2013
A soldier who followed his father and grandfather into the Household Cavalry is returning from his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Staff Corporal Paul Harris, 30, from Windsor, has spent nearly two years of his life fighting in Helmand.
Now, 11 years after he first touched down in the desert, his regiment has finally finished its job there.
Paul will be back at Combermere Barracks with B Squadron this month after six months working with Afghan Special Forces.
He said: "The Helmand I have seen this summer has changed massively from what I experienced in 2004 and 2008.
"I trust the Afghan Tiger Teams we work with as much as my own blokes. They are loyal, capable and incredibly brave. Their knowledge of the areas we operate in is second to none, which is why we have been able to deny the enemy over half a tonne of home-made explosive - enough to kill or maim hundreds of locals or friendly soldiers."
Ex-The Windsor Boys' School pupil Paul, who has a daughter Olivia, four, has also served in Bosnia and Iraq.
He has experienced tough fighting for every metre of ground one minute, providing welfare support to local Afghans and meeting with elders the next.
Paul said: "We were operating in a place called Kakaran. There we came across two young boys with severe gangrene in their feet.
"For once I got to put down my rifle and help the medic treat these lads before sending them off to a newly-built local hospital. We made a real difference to their lives that day."
Paul is a third generation Household Cavalryman.
His grandfather and uncle both served in the Life Guards, while his father served 22 years in the Blues and Royals.