SUPERSQUADDIE Gee Davidson has returned to the front line in Afghanistan just two years after an IED attack broke his back in three places.
Lance Corporal Davidson’s armoured vehicle was left a tangle of metal and the 25-year-old feared he would never walk again.
But the brave Black Watch soldier made a full recovery and, desperate to rejoin his comrades, is now back on the front line battling the Taleban.
Gee, from Perth, has returned to one of the most dangerous jobs in the Army – scouting behind enemy lines as part of a reconnaissance platoon in Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand province.
He said: “I was a bit of a mess and there were concerns that I wouldn’t be able to walk again.
“It’s been a gruelling two years but I didn’t want to miss out on this tour and so I set myself the target to get better in time for it. The rest is history.”
Gee’s Jackal armoured vehicle was destroyed by an improvised explosive device detonated by the Taleban in the Afghan desert in 2009.
As well as breaking his back, the blast broke three ribs and left him covered in cuts and bruises.
After he was evacuated, Gee received intensive treatment at the Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham. He was then sent to rehabilitate at Headley Court, Surrey, a special centre for wounded servicemen.
But instead of being retired on medical grounds, Gee battled back to full health and then insisted on rejoining his comrades. He returned to the battle zone in September last year.
He said: “There’s an old Scottish phrase – ‘friends are good on the day of battle’ – and it’s true.”
The risks of the job were brought home last week when six British soldiers died in an IED attack on their Warrior vehicle.
Five were from 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment and one from 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
An undaunted Gee added: “The tour has been full of challenges but we’ve achieved a lot too.
“It’s been really satisfying to go into areas that we have had no control over and slowly but surely forces the insurgents away.”
Gee’s platoon collect information on enemy positions and numbers and try to disrupt insurgent activity.
He said: “The gratitude on the faces of the locals as they can begin to live without fear of intimidation makes all the risks worthwhile.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve done here.”
Keen to pass on his experience, Lance Corporal Davidson has taken fellow Perth soldier Private Andrew Cruickshanks (corr), 20, under his wing.
The two both attended Perth Academy, and joined the Army at 16.
Private Cruickshanks, on his first tour of Afghanistan, said: “We have been in a fair few fights which was a bit of a shock to begin with but your training and your mates around you get you through it.
“It has been good to have the advice of someone who has seen it all before.”
The Black Watch are due to return home from Afghanistan next month.