The 1st Battalion Welsh Guards - currently serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan - were surprised and buoyed this week by a personal letter from the Welsh rugby legend Ryan Jones on behalf of the Welsh national team.
"As I sit here, amongst my 'boys on tour', on the other side of the World, I thought I’d take the opportunity to drop a line… to some other touring heroes!"
The second-row hero, who will be playing at number eight in tomorrow’s third test against Australia, demonstrated a humble modesty so refreshing in today’s professional sports industry.
"To guys like me who sit around moaning about the weather, air con, food and losing, you blokes are a real inspiration who deserve the recognition and support in everything you do, not only from the Team but from the nation too."
Following every match
When the message was received at the Battalion's operational Headquarters in Lashkar Gar, WO1 (Regimental Sergeant Major) Brian Baldwin was initially speechless.
"To the boys and I, Ryan Jones and the Welsh rugby team are heroes. Even the most remote locations have moved hell and high water to make sure they were able to follow every match. Words cannot describe what a message like this means to the boys!"
Ryan concluded his letter with the message:
"Both the Team and I wish you all a successful tour, but more importantly a safe return home! Go hard and stay safe boys!"
In response, all of the members of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards serving in Helmand and at home in London send the following message to their heroes in the Welsh rugby team:
"Thank you for your amazing message. It is a huge morale boost for every Guardsman and Welshman in theatre. Rest assured when you step out onto that pitch tomorrow to face the Wallabies you will have the entire Regiment and the nation behind you. The Welsh rugby team stand for everything that is great about our nation, and your dragon’s heart, strength of character and dogged Welsh courage makes everyone in the Regiment proud to be Welsh. As we say out here, keep low and move fast! Cymru am byth!"