Stagecoach employee Bob Reid will soon be swapping Arbroath for Afghanistan as he prepares to serve in the Territorial Army.
Bob, a supervisor for Stagecoach Strathtay, is a member of the A Company 7 Scots unit of the T.A and will leave in September for a six month operational deployment in Afghanistan with the 2nd Battaliion, The Parachute Regiment.
Prior to joining Stagecoach as a bus driver in 2007, Bob (45) served in the Army for 22 years with the 1st Battalion The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) and was based at locations across the UK as well as in Germany and Hong Kong. He is married to wife Helen and has four children from a previous marriage as well as three grandchildren.
He said: “Throughout my time in the Army, the opportunity to serve in a war zone didn’t arise so when I saw that the T.A were looking for soldiers to deploy to Afghanistan, I talked it over with my wife and decided to note my interest. I have now received my call up papers and will leave in September.
“I know there are some people who will think I am mad to want to do this but this is what I have trained for 22 years to do and it’s a chance I will probably never get again.”
Bob’s job as a supervisor at Arbroath Depot will be held open for him during his time away, which involves several months of full-time training prior to his deployment.
Bob added: “I am very grateful that Stagecoach has supported my decision and is giving me the opportunity to serve again for my country.”
Training for his deployment has involved weapon handling, fitness, firing on the ranges, communication, cultural awareness and first aid and has taken place across the UK including Inverness, Carnoustie and Warcop.
Managing Director of Stagecoach East Scotland, Charlie Mullen said: “We are proud to be able to support Bob in his desire to serve his country once again. We wish him all the best and look forward to his safe return next year.”