Dorset holiday home opens for Afghanistan war bereaved

Image caption,
Afghan Heroes was set up by a group of bereaved mothers in 2009

A charity has opened a holiday home in Dorset for families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and those returning home after a tour of duty there.

Afghan Heroes said the property in Weymouth can house up to six people.

"It is intended to be the first of eight across Britain to fill a gap in the care of families of the fallen and returning service personnel," it added.

Afghan Heroes was launched in September 2009 by a group of mothers who had all lost sons in Afghanistan.

Denise Harris, the charity's founder, said: "The new facility will be used by families of the fallen so that they can stick together during their grief.

Rehabilitation and recovery

"It will also be used by returning service personnel who have suffered trauma and need to find peace and quiet with their loved ones.

"We plan to adapt the holiday home in the future when funds allow so that it is suitable for disabled service personnel."

Ms Harris added: "Although there are excellent hospitals and rehabilitation facilities like Headley Court we found there was a need for some families to get away on their own to get their lives back together."

Public donations were used to fund the purchase of the property.

The number of British military deaths in operations in Afghanistan since 2001 stands at 357, following the death of a soldier from 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, in an explosion on 14 February.

Two other soldiers, serving with the Royal Logistic Corps, died as a result of what was thought to be a domestic fire at Camp Bastion, in Helmand province, on the same day.

If the fire is found not to be the result of enemy action, it will mean 44 service personnel have died from accidents, illness, or non-combat injuries.

Others have yet to be assigned a cause of death.

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