Below is a story of Luke Cole a guy from 4 mercians who served in Afghanistan recently. When i read this article it made me proud to be a member of the T.A. Knowing that we have got some excellent soldiers going on ops and performing well. Get well soon Coley Soldier Private Luke Cole today described how he lay wounded and helpless in an Afghanistan killing area having been shot twice and holding a gun that had jammed. The TA soldier, a forklift driver by trade, was eventually dragged to safety by two comrades following the terrifying night-time ambush by the Taliban. Luke, who had volunteered to go on a six month tour with the Mercian Regiment, had emergency surgery in the field and a further seven operations after being flown to Birminghams Selly Oak Hospital. His tale of incredible heroism under intense fire is testament to the actions of thousands of soldiers who will spend Christmas at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Luke, aged 22, of Wolverhampton, lost five inches of bone after being shot in the left thigh and was also hit in the right hip by a bullet that exited his body through the stomach. Two comrades were killed and six others wounded during the eight hour firefight with the Taliban three months ago. He crawled back into the line of fire to tend to an injured colleague after being shot the first time and was hit again as he successfully battled to stop the Taliban snatching the body of a dead friend from the combat zone as a sick trophy. Luke, a former pupil of Swestow School, fired up to 360 rounds during the fierce battle. He refused to be rescued until a more seriously wounded comrade had been evacuated. He was lying alone under heavy fire in the killing area just yards from where the enemy was dug in when his SA 80 rifle was shot out of his hands and jammed. He said: That was when I thought it was all over. I did not think that I was going to get out alive. The only thing I had to fight with was my bayonet. Luckily at that moment two of our lance corporals ran out behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. They said: Weve come to get you out. The soldiers who died in the battle on September 8 were named as Sergeant Craig Brelsford, who died a week before his 26th birthday, and Private Johan Botha, aged 25. Luke now faces months of rehabilitation in the the new year. He still hopes that he can continue his career in the Army. He recently received a special delivery from Prince Charles, a personalised bottle of 1995 Duke of Rothesay Laphroaig whisky sent in a presentation box carrying the distinctive Prince of Wales feathers. The Prince, in charge of the recently formed regiment, also sent Luke a touching get-well-soon message. He told Luke: I was greatly concerned to hear of the horrific injuries you sustained in Afghanistan and as the new Colonel-in-Chief I have been wanting to write and wish you a swift a recovery as possible. I have nothing but the greatest sympathy for what you are having to endure. This letter brings you many healing thoughts together with a small bottle of medicine which I hope may help you through the coming months. Yours most sincerely Luke, whose older brother Michael is a full time soldier and whose father was also in the TA, said: The package came out of the blue and was much appreciated. It was a nice gesture. I am not a big whisky drinker but I am told that a special presentation bottle like this is worth £1,000 so I would be a fool to start knocking it back. Luke, who met up with members of his unit at a memorial service for the Mercians at Westminster Abbey last Monday, said the future was now on hold . He added: It is too early to say what will happen but I would love to sign up full time with the Mercian 2nd Batallion with whom I served in Afghanistan. The Army is looking after me very well and I have been looked after well at Selly Oak. I did my bit but it was nothing exceptional compared to what everybody else was doing. I was no more courageous than the rest I would do it all again if the opportunity came. We all did a great job that night.