LIEUTENANT Commander Brian (Grassy) Meadows, a Royal Navy Reserve Officer from Barry, has just completed a six month operational tour in Afghanistan serving with the United States Marine Corps in Helmand Province.

'Grassy' (59), a Media Operations specialist, said: "It has been a tough and demanding tour but very satisfying.

"Working day in day out alongside the US marines is a full-on commitment and extremely challenging, but I trained hard for the tour and came through it all ok."

Grassy will be returning to his family in Barry for some well-earned leave before returning to the Royal Navy for further operational duty.

Grassy served for 36 years as a Physical Training Officer in the Royal Navy before transferring to the Naval Reserves to work in media activities. He is based at the Royal Naval Reserve Unit, HMS CAMBRIA, in Sully.

Preparing to leave Helmand Province, Grassy said: "It's a great feeling knowing that you are finally heading home, but leaving these guys behind to continue the fight is a different emotion.

"I know the dangers they will be facing and I just hope they also come through safely."

This was Grassy's fourth land-based operational tour, having previously served in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Bahrain.

After 45 years Naval service, Grassy is due to retire at the end of this year.