Soldier home

PASSING OUT: Matthew Light at his passing out parade at the army college in Harrogate.
PASSING OUT: Matthew Light at his passing out parade at the army college in Harrogate.

A SOLDIER injured in a bomb blast in Afghanistan is back home with his family.

Matthew Light, 19, whose father is Kirklees Tory leader Coun Robert Light, suffered injuries to his legs in an explosion on December 30. His friend, Pte John King, from Darlington, was killed in the blast.

Matthew was flown to Birmingham from Helmand Province on Friday when he was reunited with his family.

He is now recovering from his injuries at home.

Coun Light said: “We thought we would see him at lunchtime but it was about 9pm. It was emotional.

“It was just great to see him and great for him to see us. His legs are still damaged but he’s making good progress and is dealing with it well.

“The doctors are very pleased with his progress.”

Matthew was on foot patrol with other soldiers from First Batallion the Yorkshire Regiment and Afghan police when the bomb exploded. He suffered shrapnel wounds to his legs and was left deaf in one ear.

Coun Light said Matthew was feeling the loss of his friend.

He said: “He is okay – there are scars there but he is doing okay so far.

“He has nerve damage in his foot which needs a bit of time to see how that going to develop.

“His hearing is still a problem, but that is the sort of thing we have to give a bit of time.

“He is just recovering at home for the next couple of weeks and then he will be back for tests.

“Some of them will be in Birmingham and some may be in Surrey.”

“We are taking things one step at a time. At first it was just getting him to the UK and then getting him home.

“The last two weeks have been a bit of a blur but now we are coming out of it.

“We are just relieved to get him home and get the family back together – that’s the main thing. It has been a very, very difficult couple of weeks.”