From Helmand to home

Martin Peters, a signaller with 40 Commando Royal Marines, was on a routine patrol in Helmand, Afghanistan when a suicide bomber struck.

INJURED Manx marine Martin Peters has been praised by Island war veterans for his courage under fire. The 23-year-old, who was badly hurt in a suicide bomber blast in Afghanistan, is resting at home in Douglas until next week, when he will return to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for check-ups.

He and his parents Derek and Karen, of Stanley Terrace, were invited to a meeting of the Armed Forces Day Committee, whose chairman Brigadier Norman Butler welcomed Martin back. Martin told assembled dignitaries including Chief Minister Tony Brown and Douglas Mayor Ritchie McNicholl that he had received many gifts and messages of support from the Manx community while in hospital, adding that it was ‘nice to know I was not left there alone’.

Martin was just 13 feet from suicide bomber

MARTIN Peters told iomtoday he was standing just four metres away – just over 13 ft – from the suicide bomber who blew him up.

The signaller with 40 Commando Royal Marines was on a routine patrol in the Helmand province of Afghanistan when the bomb went off, spraying Martin and one of his comrades with ball bearings.

‘We were in a safe area and there was a normal atmosphere, but suddenly this guy just went off,’ he said. ‘I got plenty of the ball bearings on my body armour but a few of them went into my leg. The other lad took more of the blast but he’s OK now, he’s up and about in hospital. You never think you will get injured. You see it happen but you never think it will be you, especially because our equipment is great. The Mastiff armoured troop carrier is a great vehicle.’

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