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Three years at war

Dirt kicks up around us, bark splinters, leaves get hit and fall lazily onto us. So this is what it is like to be under a withering hail of bullets, I think to myself. We are lying flat on the ground. An Afghan soldier several metres away from me has thrown away his weapon, and is lying like a starfish, not even wanting to lift his head.

A bullet hits a patch of earth to my right and sends up a puff of dust. Sinister cracks and snaps have become our world. It is absolutely terrifying. A British soldier to my left swears loudly as a bullet whizzes just above his head. Despite the situation, we laugh. It’s unreal. BOOM! A rocket-propelled grenade is fired, but thankfully misses. A message comes over the radio, two words that nobody in any army ever wants to hear. Man down.