Phil's back home

PUBLISHED: 02:01 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:59 10 June 2010

FAMILIES gave an emotional welcome to the men from 40 Commando Royal Marines as they arrived at Exeter Airport after a six month-tour of Afghanistan. More than 100 of the men from Bravo Company arrived back in the UK on Wednesday for a well-earned two mo

FAMILIES gave an emotional welcome to the men from 40 Commando Royal Marines as they arrived at Exeter Airport after a six month-tour of Afghanistan. More than 100 of the men from Bravo Company arrived back in the UK on Wednesday for a well-earned two month holiday, writes Dina Karim. The marines were greeted with tears and banners - and the Band of the Royal Marines playing in the background - when they entered the terminal after a four-day arduous journey home.Bravo Company Sergeant Major WO2 Phil Gilby, of Brixington, said: "It is very exciting and great. The last leg of the flight was only five hours, but it felt like five months. "I am just over the moon - it's so good to be back. We arrived at 3.10pm and all the family were there. I am looking forward to normality and just being home and some great food: Chinese, Indian, anything good."The marine was greeted at the arrival's lounge by his wife Anita and two sons, 12-year-old Connor and 16-year-old Matt. Sgt Mjr Gilby, who was stationed in the upper Singin Valley, said the situation had been difficult for the marines. He said: "We saw a lot of action and experienced everything; we came under fire from small arms, mortar attacks, and RPG-fire. Anything the Taliban threw at us. "It has been an experience and ticked every box there is. It just really makes you appreciate the little things in life."Life soon got back to normal that afternoon as he joined his family to watch his youngest son play football for Brixington Blues. He will be travelling to Newquay this weekend for some more football and hopes to go on holiday to Mallorca. The first batch of marines to arrive will be followed by 600 more colleagues in the next two weeks.

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