Nurse heads to Afghanistan to be closer to her husband

MISSION Nurse Elaine Grist is leaving QA to work at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan and inset, husband Lt Cdr David Grist
MISSION Nurse Elaine Grist is leaving QA to work at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan and inset, husband Lt Cdr David Grist
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WHEN their other half gets deployed to Afghanistan for months on end, most spouses just get the occasional email and chat on the phone with their loved one.

But NHS nurse Elaine Grist isn’t like most wives – she is moving to the warzone to be closer to navy medic David, who has been away since February.

Lt Cdr David Grist

Lt Cdr David Grist

From July, she will join her husband working in the hospital in Camp Bastion.

Elaine, who is a naval reservist with Portsmouth-based unit HMS King Alfred, said: ‘I’m really excited about going to Afghanistan. It will be good to see David every day. I’ve missed him so much.

‘The hardest challenge is going to be not going up to him and giving him a big hug and a kiss any time I want because the no-touching rule still applies.’

The Queen Alexandra Hospital outpatient nurse will leave the day job behind until October to work as a theatre nurse at Bastion’s busy hospital, where many severely injured troops, some of whom are multiple amputees, are first operated on before being flown back to the UK.

It is the second time Elaine, who lives in Alverstoke, has done a tour of Afghanistan since 2008.

She also served in Iraq during the invasion in 2003.

She said: ‘I enjoy it. It’s very rewarding work. When you see photos of the lads you’ve looked after months down the line and see how well they’re doing now it’s so rewarding.’

The nurse joined the naval reserves 23 years ago where she met David, who is also a navy medic reservist at HMS King Alfred.

She said: ‘It’s been very hard with him being away. We set times for him to call me and I really look forward to those days.

‘I’ve been sending him emails and parcels every day but it’s going to be great to see him every day and have him there for when there is a bad day and you need someone to talk to.’