Christmas home comforts for Taunton war hero siblings

This is The West Country: Sinead Dodds with brother Josh after she came out of hospital in Camp Bastion. Sinead Dodds with brother Josh after she came out of hospital in Camp Bastion.

WAR heroes Josh and Sinead Dodds will swap bullets and bombs for chicken and crackers when they sit down to their family Christmas lunch.

The brother and sister are back in the safety of their parents’ home in a village near Taunton after some knife-edge adventures in Afghanistan.

At one stage their anguished mum and dad, Jenny and Steve, feared the worst when the knock came on their door, but Sinead pulled through after sustaining nasty injuries when her vehicle was blown up.

Josh, 19, was recently named Britain’s Most Outstanding Soldier at The Sun’s Military Awards for taking out a sniper over 700 yards away who had pinned down his colleagues.

Sinead, 21, was equally heroic, ignoring her own safety to rescue two soldiers from a blazing vehicle which hit an improvised explosive device.

Mum Jenny said: “That knock was terrifying.

“I had a phone call only for them to hang up.

“Next there was a knock on the door and a man in uniform. I shouted ‘no, no – Sinead or Josh?’ and collapsed.

“They said Sinead’s vehicle had been blown up, but she was alive with bad injuries.

“She was treated at Camp Bastion and Josh was flown over from Nad Ali, where he was deployed, to be with her.

“We wanted to be with our daughter, but we couldn’t get to her or do anything,” said Jenny.

“To hear she saved two soldiers’ lives was incredible.

“The Army’s all Sinead and Josh ever wanted, but it was daunting for Steve and me when they both came home and said they were going to Afghanistan, even though it’s what they signed up for.

“We had to do things to take our minds off it – I was working constantly and Steve decorated their bedrooms.”

Army medic Sinead, who returned to the UK in October, told how she was knocked out by the impact of the roadside bomb.

She said: “I came round and thought I’d broken some bones, but they later said I had tissue damage to my legs and arms, concussion and whiplash.

“I wasn’t scared because your training kicks in.

“I told myself ‘you’ve got to do something. You can’t put Mum and Dad through anything’.

“We pulled the guys out. They were badly injured and I treated them.

“They’ve both thanked me since for saving their lives – if I hadn’t got one’s body armour off when I did, he’d have stopped breathing.

“I’m chuffed I saved their lives, but it’s my job. I just get on with it.”

Josh, whose tour ended in September, was delighted at The Sun’s accolade, as reported in last week’s County Gazette.

He said: “To be the best of the best is incredible – I never expected it in my wildest dreams – but at the end of the day it’s my job.

“I was upset that Sinead got injured, but after spending time in Camp Bastion and seeing she’d be alright I cracked on with the job.”

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