Serving soldier to marry sweetheart in Scunthorpe before tour of duty in Afghanistan
A SCUNTHORPE soldier is set to marry his sweetheart on Saturday, weeks before flying out to Afghanistan.
Adam Graham, 27, is a bombardier and forward air controller in the 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.
Adam, who has done two previous tours of Iraq with his unit, will marry girlfriend of five years Gemma Taylor this weekend in Scunthorpe.
The couple, who have two young children together, will be separated for longer than ever before when Adam leaves for his seven-month tour of duty next month.
But his biggest fear is not facing the enemy. He is more apprehensive to be away from his three-year old daughter and one-year-old son for such a long time.
"My daughter starts school in September and I am going to miss it happening," he said.
"She also turns four in August, but I know that missing these things is part of the job. I have to get on with it because that is what I signed up to do."
Adam's wife-to-be has been keeping a brave face ahead of his departure.
Gemma said: "At the moment, I feel excited about the wedding, but uneasy because his leaving date is getting closer.
"It is the first time he is going on a tour while we have been together, and I think he'll be worried and homesick.
"I have to put a bit of a front on, but I know when he is at work he is very focused. The thought of something bad happening does play on my mind, but I try not to think about it. He is good at his job, which gives me huge reassurance that he will be safe.
"Getting married is marking the beginning of our life together, but it will be difficult over the next seven months."
The couple will marry at St Peter's Church in Bottesford.
Adam was presented with a commendation for outstanding achievement while serving in Iraq in 2007, after his unit was ambushed and he had to fight his way to safety.
He believes he only survived the ordeal because of the rigorous training he has gone through.
"At the end of the day, you train, eat and sleep together, and trust one another," he said.
"If something bad happens, you trust the man beside you and if you have to take another man's life, then you have to do it.
"My training is what kept me alive, without a doubt. There is no time to think and the training just takes over.
"The Army way of thinking is: if it is going to happen, it will happen.
"That is the best way to think of things, because you can't function in your job otherwise.
"On my first tour, at the age of 18, I was very apprehensive. On my second tour I was 21 and knew a bit more about the world.
"Now I am more mature, and am mostly apprehensive about missing my children and family."