DESPITE being 3,500 miles away, a north Northumberland soldier is flying the flag for his home town.
Sgt Graham Newton, from Wooler, who serves with the Royal Military Police, is currently on his first six-month tour of Afghanistan, moving between Camp Bastion and Lashkar Gah.
And the 31-year-old isn’t the only Newton boy serving his country. His younger brother Peter, 29, a sergeant in the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, came back from his first Afghan tour in October last year.
Graham, who has also served in Basra in Iraq, is due to return to the UK in the next three to four weeks.
Both brothers were out in Afghanistan at the same time for one month last September but unfortunately weren’t able to meet up and be pictured together with their Wooler flag.
Summing up his attitude to having two sons in the Army, father Ian said: “I have mixed feelings. I’m very proud of them but it’s always a worry.
“You have got to put it to the back of your mind because that’s what they want to do. It’s their chosen career. My wife Eileen and I have our worries but they both keep in touch via Facebook and they have a satellite phone they can use.”
The two soldiers are Wooler-born and bred, having attended Wooler First School, Glendale Middle School and then Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick.
Graham had wanted to be a policeman but was too young when he left school aged 18, so he decided that if he couldn’t join the civilian police, he would try the military police.
He spent six years serving in Germany before stints at Catterick Garrison and Colchester.
Peter left school and signed up at the age of 16. When he turned 18 he went to serve in Northern Ireland.
He first joined the Royal Artillery before transferring to the Royal Army Physical Training Corps and working as a physical training instructor.
Mr Newton said: “They have both done quite well to become sergeants at their age. My wife and I are both very proud.”