ARMED forces personnel spending Christmas thousands of miles from their families in South Yorkshire have sent festive messages home from Afghanistan.
Troops from around the county are among 9,000 British forces stationed in the war zone.
Gunner Dion Drewett, from Rotherham, is serving in the Gereshk area of Helmand with 1 Lancashire Regiment.
He said: “I wish my family back home a good Christmas and I’m sending my love to my girlfriend, Amy Cassidy.”
Staff Sergeant Jools Venning, from Sheffield, working at Camp Bastion, said: “I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”
Lance Corporal Cherie Barton, also from Sheffield, who is stationed at the main base in Gereshk, said: “Merry Christmas to my wife Sarah, mum and dad and the rest of the family. Also to everyone in Sheffield.”
Lance Bombardier Katie Fulcher, from Rotherham, who is on the same base, said: “A massive Merry Christmas to all my family and friends back home, missing you all loads.
“I am sure we will make up for me not being home over Christmas. Happy Christmas everyone, see you all soon”.
And Corporal Anthony Dale, from Doncaster, who is currently based in Lashkar Gah. “Merry Christmas to Jo and the lads, Lewis and Riley, have a good Christmas and I will see you all soon,” he said.
British forces in Afghanistan continue their normal duties throughout the festive period, including Christmas Day.
But the occasion is still marked at even the smallest bases around the country, with troops gathering for Christmas services in churches and chapels, and a traditional Christmas meal is laid on.
Extra time is also allowed for everyone to phone home and speak to their relatives and friends.