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Colin and David fly the flags in Afghanistan

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colin benjamin and david leo 960Ascension and St Helena may be small islands, but their people play a part on the world stage – and here’s a picture that proves it.

It shows Colin Benjamin and David Leo posing with the flags of their home islands at Camp Bastion, the vast military base in Afghanistan.

It took a while for David to obtain permission from the military authorities for St Helena Online to use the image of the pair posing with the flags at Christmas.

David Leo has served round the world
David Leo has served round the world

A busy operational period got in the way, but David was keen for readers to know that the islands are represented among the men and women serving in Afghanistan.

His Facebook page declares him to be an old boy of the Two Boats School of Excellence on Ascension.

He’s one of three brothers who have served in the forces, all a cause of pride to parents Cyril and Delphia.

The pair met up with all three on a trip to Germany in 2012. Cyril, a well-known councillor on Ascension, told St Helena Online: “We were fortunate to have had all three boys there at the same time.

“Shaun took voluntary redundancy Dec ’12 after serving 15 years. He served twice in Afghanistan. Ben has twice served in Afghanistan. David served twice in Iraq; the first was in the 2003 war and again in 2005.”

Colin, who grew up at St Paul’s, studied at Prince Andrew School and then worked at Radio St Helena before leaving to join the RAF.

His Facebook page shows pictures of his life in Afghanistan – including the Saint flag draped over he sleeping area. In messages, he tells how much he’s been looking forward to returning home to his wife and young son in Scotland in mid-January 2014.

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