Support from home as David walks the Afghan beat
RETIRED Newton Abbot policeman David Ward is walking the beat in Helmand province.
David (pictured), 52, is using skills gained over a 32-year career with Devon and Cornwall police to train and mentor the Afghan police.
He is currently serving in the Nad e Ali area of Helmand with the military advisory group.
He said: "The culture of the local people is rich and fascinating. Security here is improving by the day which is a tribute to the Afghan police and the ISAF troops who are partnering and mentoring them."
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David has been a member of the reserve forces for 27 years and has worked up the ranks to become a Lt Col.
His experience during two tours of Iraq and one of Bosnia prior to his deployment to Afghanistan has given David the ideal background to pass on a careers worth of experience.
David said: "Being able to impart knowledge and advice to the chief of police in order to help them to build a professional police force is the main thrust of my work here.
"They are building a professional force in the Helmand valley and this is a great opportunity for me to assist them to increase their professional attitude and behaviour.
"What has taken me by surprise has been the warmth and generosity of the Afghan people."
David is currently half way through a 12-month posting in Afghanistan.
He has a wife, Linda, and three children Kerenza, 22, Eythyn, 19 and Myron, 15.
David and his family are keen volunteers and all three of his children serve alongside him in St John Ambulance service where David is a senior volunteer for youth leadership within Devon.
He takes Bertie the Badger, the mascot of the five-to-10 year old St John volunteers, wherever he travels.
David has had support from friends at home in Newton Abbot.
He said: "I have had morale boxes from Sainsbury's. The Women's Institute in Ipplepen have sent me cakes and the Fuchsia restaurant has been sending me scones, all of which have been received very well. It is a tremendous boost to know the people of Newton Abbot are giving their support."