11:55am Friday 15th October 2010
By Emma Cruces
A SOLDIER was given a warm welcome home with a surprise party in a Blackburn pub.
Kingsman Adrian Hardy, known as Adi, returned from a tour in Afghanistan to a poignant reunion with his wife, Laura, and eight-year-old daughter, Jamie Leigh, at Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire.
But the former Shadsworth High School pupil, who has also served two tours in Iraq, was amazed when he discovered Laura had organised a surprise party for him at the Sun Hotel in Astley Gate.
Kingsman Hardy, 24, of Heys Lane, who has been in the army for six years, was among soldiers with the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment who were applauded by waiting crowds on returning to Catterick as military music played.
Later, he walked into the surprise party at the Sun Hotel where friends and family had gathered to welcome him home after four months away from loved ones carrying out patrols in Helmand Province.
Greeting him on arrival was a banner above the pub door welcoming him home.
He said: “I was just so pleased to see everyone at Catterick, I wasn’t expecting a surprise party as well.
“When I turned up, there was the banner above the door and all my mates were inside. It’s brilliant.”
Relatives at the party told of their pride in seeing him return from Afghanistan.
One said: “It was brilliant at Catterick because Adi’s troop was the last back in the regiment so all the other lads were already home and were cheering for them while the music played.”
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