Soldier Ricky Huntley's homecoming is charity fundraiser in memory of fallen colleague
A SOLDIER home from his fourth tour of Afghanistan has held a party in memory of a fallen comrade.
Bombardier Ricky Huntley has returned to Immingham after serving at Camp Bastion for seven months.
The 28-year-old was only home for 24 hours before he was helping raise money at a 1940s-themed party in memory of Immingham Marine Mathew Ford, 30, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.
Ricky said: “This was my sixth tour in total.
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“I have completed four in Afghanistan, one in Iraq and a peace-keeping tour also.
“It is always different every time you go out, but you are always ready to come back.
“Seven months is a long time to go away, no matter what your career, so it is good to be home.
“I have been in the forces for 12 years but I have two months’ leave now, which means I will be home for Christmas – and I am really happy about that.”
The party in memory of Mathew Ford was organised by Ricky’s mother, Joan, in aid of Help For Heroes.
“I am more than happy to attend a party like this in memory of Mathew and to help raise money,” said Ricky. “I didn’t really know him that well because he was a bit older than me but we were on the same tour in 2007 and when he died it hit me hard because we are both from Immingham.
“It is occasions like this that make all the difference.
“I have seen friends get injured and the money and support raised is vital.
“Without charity work I don’t know what we would do. I want to thank everyone for coming.”
Joan, of Sonja Crest, in Immingham, said: “My son has come home from Afghanistan and with it being the time of remembrance, we thought we would host a 1940s party and raise funds for charity.
“It is fantastic to see Ricky and more than anything a great relief.
“It is really worrying when he is away.
“We want to raise as much money as possible and we are hoping a big party like this is the way to do it.
“Now, I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my son.”