A brother and sister from Whitley Bay are serving in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province together.
Both former pupils of Whitley Bay High School, Joe (26) and Jessica (21) Stamp have found themselves serving in the same camp at the same time.
Sergeant Joe Stamp, of the Light Dragoons, is a troop sergeant with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, and he acts as the eyes and ears of the soldiers on the ground, as well as assisting the Afghan Army in conducting search operations in the area.
Senior Aircraftswoman Jess Stamp is an Air Steward in the Royal Air Force, based in Brize Norton. She is a part of the air crew taking troops between the UK and Afghanistan on Royal Air Force aircraft.
Sergeant Joe Stamp said: “It’s a bit weird, but it’s good to see Jessica out here. We don’t get to see each other that often in the UK, so in fact I’m seeing her more out here than I do in the UK.”
Senior Aircraftswoman Jess Stamp said: “I’m very proud of my brother and it’s nice to see how he’s working. It’s really relaxing to see him when I’m out here; it’s something to look forward to.”
On previous tours, Joe worked with the Afghan security forces closely and has noticed the difference in the area. He said: “The majority of the places where we used to be have now been handed over to the Afghans and it’s good to see. It’s changed a lot, all for the better.”
While Joe is out in Helmand for six months, Jessica only spends a few days at a time in Afghanistan before flying another plane-load of passengers back to the UK. Jessica is also working hard to greet her brother again when he finishes his tour of duty.
Jess said: “Hopefully when Joe gets to the end of his tour I’ll be on his flight back. Hopefully I can organise with work to try and get on that flight.”