How my Hereford soldier son helped get truckers home

A PROUD dad has told how his soldier son helped truck drivers stranded in Dover make it home for Christmas. Ryan Jones, 19, of the Royal Welsh Regiment, was deployed to the Channel port at around 7pm on Christmas Eve. He was one of 1,300 soldiers who had to cancel their leave to help truckers trapped when France closed its border with the UK after the emergence of the new strain of Covid-19.

He spent four days working 12 to 18-hour shifts testing drivers for coronavirus to ensure they could be allowed to travel to be with their families for Christmas. But on New Year’s Day Ryan was finally able to sit down from a Christmas dinner with his dad, Neil, and stepmum, Pauline, at their home in Newton Farm, Hereford. A delighted Neil said: “It is great to have our boy home again safe and sound.

“I couldn’t be any prouder than I am today of the man my son has become.” Ryan attended the Hereford Academy in Marlbrook Road. He left aged 16 to follow in his dad’s footsteps and sign up for the Army.

He spent 12 months at Army Foundation College for trainee soldiers in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, before completing his training at Catterick Garrison. Afterwards, he moved to his battalion at Tidworth, Wiltshire. It is not the first time Ryan has had helped his country cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

His regiment helped set up the Nightingale hospital in Bristol, and was also engaged in testing members of the public.

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